ADVERTISING
 
Saturday, May 26   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
State and Religion
Should religious symbols be displayed in buildings of the public administration?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Pressure on Christians
 

Conviction, sentencing of Christian in Algeria is ‘ridiculous’, attorney says

Police and customs officers interrogating the convert pressured him to renounce Christ.

AUTHOR Morning Star News TIZI-OUZOU 07 MAY 2018 12:05 h GMT+1
Dar El Baida Court outside of Algiers, Algeria. / Wikimedia, CC

A court in Algeria yesterday withdrew a six-month prison sentence but upheld a fine on a convert from Islam for carrying Christian literature and some crucifix-shaped keychains into the country, sources said.



Idir Hamdad was fined 20,000 Algerian dinars (US$172) plus customs expenses after a judge at the court in Dar el Beida, on the outskirts of Algiers, ruled he was guilty of importing unauthorized items without a license, his attorney said. Notice of a six-month prison sentence and fine had been delivered to his home on March 4 stating that he had been convicted and sentenced en absentia on Sept. 28, 2017, the lawyer said.



“To condemn a Christian…with about 20 keychains, including four or five bearing crucifixes, and six scarves, to be sentenced by the justice of our Algeria following a seizure at customs, is ridiculous in view of Article 365 of the Code of Customs,” attorney Sadek Nadjib told Morning Star News, adding that carrying the items did not violate Algerian customs law.



Hamdad’s attorney, a Muslim, said he had expected complete acquittal since there was no basis for the charges.



Hamdad and witnesses who attended a court hearing on April 12 said the judge, a woman without head covering (hijab), appeared very surprised at how little the facts of the case supported the charges. Hence he and his defense attorney were surprised when the charges were not thrown out entirely yesterday, they said.



 



PRESSURE TO RENOUNCE CHRIST



Customs officials had stopped Hamdad, a 29-year-old convert who put his faith in Christ in 2002, upon his arrival to Houari Boumedienne Airport in Algiers from Jordan on April 29, 2016; the items in question had been donated to him by a church in Amman, Jordan.



“After they opened my luggage, suddenly I found myself surrounded by multitudes of police and customs officers,” Hamdad told Morning Star News. “The customs officer began to gesticulate in all directions to attract attention. And I, still in astonishment, still did not understand what was happening to me.”



One after another, sometimes at the same time, the officials peppered him with questions, he said.



“It fell on me like a rain: ‘Are you a Christian? Where do you come from? Who gave you these objects? And those Christian books, who gave them to you? Who is it for?’” he said.



Two police officers grabbed him and forced him to follow them out of the international terminal to the national terminal, where they held him for eight hours without food or water, he said.



“In this quarantine, the representatives of the law did not fail to abuse their authority to insult me,” he said. “They had repeatedly tried to persuade me to renounce my Christian faith and returnto Islam: ‘If you renounce now your Christianity and you do the chahada [Islamic conversion creed], we will let you leave right away, and there will be no prosecution against you.’”



At the end of this interrogation, they confiscated the items and released Hamdad early in the evening, he said.



Pastor Salah Chalah, head of Protestant Church of the Full Gospel of Tizi-Ouzou (EPPETO), saw the influence of Algeria’s controversial Law 03/2006, commonly known as Law 06/03, in the case. The 2006 law stipulates prison terms of up to five years for anyone who uses any means to “intended to undermine the faith of a Muslim.”



“We can see again the sword of Damocles [Law 06/03] come down on us in this verdict today,” he told Morning Star News. “We must work for its amendment by all possible legal means that the Algerian law offers us, while hoping for the goodwill of the authorities of our country as well as common sense. The amendment of this law will contribute to the emancipation and the realization of the individual freedoms enshrined by the Algerian constitution.”



Another Christian, Nourredine Belabed, was sentenced on March 8 to a fine of 100,000 dinars (US$868) and a suspended three-month prison sentence under the 06/03 law and awaits appeal in Tiaret.



Algeria ranked 42nd on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Conviction, sentencing of Christian in Algeria is ‘ridiculous’, attorney says
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
VIDEO Video
 
What are the cultural roots of the transgender movement? What are the cultural roots of the transgender movement?

Peter Saunders, CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship (UK) summarises>the philosophical framework that made the transgender movement so popular.

 
Pitfalls that Christian artists should avoid Pitfalls that Christian artists should avoid

Delta David Gier, Conductor and Music Director, on some of the dangers for artists.

 
Why are Christian leaders particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation? Why are Christian leaders particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation?

“The reasons why somebody might have sex with a prostitute are very different from the reasons why somebody might want to have an affair with a member of their congregation”. An analysis by John Stevens, National Director of FIEC (UK).

 
Be safe on social media Be safe on social media

A video about the way traffickers target teenage girls online, produced by anti-slavery gorup Abolishion.

 
In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.