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“Many more churches are threatened with closure, amid denial of formal registration and recognition by authorities”, the World Evangelical Alliance says in a statement.
The WEA reacted to the recent actions of the Algerian government against at least six Protestant churches.
The evangelical body “deeply regrets” that two churches “were forcibly closed by administrative decisions, in May and in August 2019 in the city northeast of Boudjima, Tizi-Ouzou in Kabylie Region”.
In the latest case, only one week ago, the gendarmes went to seal the building as the church worshipped.
The six closed churches include one house church, and five members of the Algerian Protestant Church (EPA), which is “the national evangelical alliance, and a WEA member”.
“Many more churches are threatened with closure, amid denial of formal registration and recognition by authorities”, the WEA said.
GOVERNMENT SHOULD SUSPEND 2006 ORDINANCE
The WEA asks the government put an end to the restrictions of freedom of worship. “We call on the Algerian authorities to suspend and revise the February 2006 ordinance setting out the conditions and rules for the exercise of non-Muslim religions”, the statement says. “This ordinance is cited in each of the decisions to close churches”.
“Furthermore, we call on Algerian authorities to respond to the administrative requests from the EPA Council, namely requests related to the renewal of the EPA governing council”.
PRAYER FOR ALGERIA
The statement ends with a call to prayer. “As Algeria goes through the current political transition phase, the WEA calls upon Christians globally to pray continually for their brothers and sisters in Christ in Algeria, and for the people of Algeria”.
“We ask for prayer for peace and prosperity for this country, as we urge them to uphold religious freedom”.
The WEA is a network of churches in 129 nations that have each formed an evangelical alliance and over 100 international organizations joining together to give a worldwide identity, voice, and platform to more than 600 million evangelical Christians