Algeria shuts down 3 churches days after Christians hold sit-in protest

October 19, 2019

Persecution of Christians in Algeria: the modern nation of Algeria is in a region that was once a renowned center of Orthodox Christianity. The holy martyr St. Cyprian of Carthage, Blessed Augustine of Hippo, and many other saints hailed from North Africa. But in 647, the first Arab invaders arrived, and the Islamization of the area began. Ultimately Christianity was entirely wiped out in North Africa.

Today Christianity, albeit not yet Holy Orthodoxy, is returning to North Africa. Yet as we see in so many areas, the government is not on the side of the Christians. Please keep the Christians of Algeria who are enduring these church closures in your prayers, and pray also to our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ for the revival of Holy Orthodoxy in this venerable land.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Algeria, see here.

“Algeria shuts down 3 churches days after Christians hold sit-in protest,” by Samuel Smith, Christian Post, October 17, 2019:

Christians in north-central Algeria were kicked out of their churches by police just days after many faithful protested the government’s crackdown on houses of worship.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a U.K.-based nongovernmental organization that monitors persecution in 20 countries and has consultative status with the U.N., reports that three Algerian Christian churches have been shut down this month.

According to CSW, the number of churches that have been shut down in Algeria so far this year has risen to at least eight.

Since 2017, waves of church closures have been carried out by authorities in the Muslim-majority country on the basis of a 2006 law that requires all non-Islamic places of worship to be authorized by a national government agency.

Critics say that that agency, the National Commission for Non-Muslim Worship, does not actually meet and therefore, applications to build new churches are not considered.

On Wednesday, police shut down The Light Church in the city of Tizi Ouzou in north-central Algeria and evicted worshipers from the church.

The forced closure of The Light Church follows the closing of two other churches this week: Protestant Church of the Full Gospel in Tizi Ouzou and Source of Life Church in the Tizi Ouzou suburb of Makouda….