Persecution Fridays: Algeria

June 10, 2011 at 7:47 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website:

Algeria: Churches Threatened

A provincial governor ordered seven churches in the province of Béjaïa to close recently, but Christian leaders do not intend to comply. On May 22, 2011, the Béjaïa police commissioner sent an official letter to the head of the Algerian Protestant Church Association (EPA), stating that all churches in his province and around the country should be closed immediately. The notice cited a May 8 decision from the governor of Béjaïa province.

The police commissioner wrote, “Close down all the worship places around the country once for all, the places which are used now and the places which are under construction.” According to the notice, if the churches do not comply, they may face “severe consequences and punishments.”

After delivering the notice, police summoned the leaders of seven churches in Béjaïa to sign a document accepting the order. But the leaders did not comply, citing the regional governor’s limited authority. They will continue to hold regular church services as scheduled.

“They said we have to be in conformity to the law,” Mustapha Krim, a president of the EPA, told Compass Direct News. “We’ve always tried to do this and have submitted all that they requested. Now it’s up to them to give us the authorization and do what they need to do.”

Church registration is required under Ordinance 06-03, a law enacted in 2006. The churches have tried to register, but officials have refused to grant or even respond to applications for registration, EPA leaders told Compass Direct. “This first notification may be the beginning of permanently closing every place of worship other than Islam throughout the national territory,” a church leader in Tizi Ouzou told International Christian Concern. “We must begin to make noise and to not allow this to pass over in silence, or else the authorities will crush us.”

Persecution Fridays: Algeria

January 8, 2011 at 2:14 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: 

Algeria: Four Christians Sentenced

Four Christians were given suspended prison sentences recently for opening a place of worship without a license in the eastern region of Kabylia, Algeria, according to Asia News.

The Christians, a Protestant clergyman and three of his parishioners, were convicted under a controversial 2006 law. The law requires that anyone who wants to set up a place of worship, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, must obtain a permit indicating the name of the place of worship and the name of the pastor. Some believe this law violates Algeria’s constitution, and this is the first time the law has been enforced. Three of the men, Abdenour Raid, Nacer Mokrani and Idir Haoudj, received two-month prison sentences. The fourth, Pastor Mahmoud Yahou, was sentenced to three months in jail and fined almost $3,600 (U.S.) for illegally sheltering a foreigner.

Pray that God will encourage these believers, that the ministry of churches in Algeria will flourish and that the gospel will be preached throughout the nation.

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