Algeria Continues to Shut Down Churches; Here’s Why It Matters

Header image is a representative photo courtesy of USCIRF.

Recently, Algeria’s government shut down yet another church. On January 20, officials ordered the closure of a church in Ain Turk. More details here.

According to Middle East Concern, 19 churches have been closed in the past two years; at least 13 of the church buildings were sealed shut. Read our coverage here. “The government tries to limit the growth of the church because the Protestant church in Algeria has been growing quite significantly over the last few decades and continues to grow,” MEC’s Daniel Hoffman says.

For example, “there is much less pressure on the Catholic church because the Catholic church is not growing,” he adds.

What’s going on in Algeria?

Algeria’s constitution establishes Islam as the national religion. A 2006 law makes it extremely difficult for non-Muslim religious groups to function. More about that here.

Under the 2006 law, Christians have to get a license from a special national committee in order to use a building for church purposes. “But, the committee has never met, and therefore has never issued a single license,” Hoffman explains.

“Now, the government is saying these churches are illegal because they’re operating without the proper license [but]… they make it impossible for churches to obtain this license.”

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray for an end to this campaign by the authorities, and for the churches to remain strong in the midst of it.
  • Pray for wisdom for church leaders, that they will know how to respond and react to different activities.
  • Pray for wisdom for government officials. Pray their actions and decisions will further God’s purposes instead of hindering them.