ADVERTISING
 
Saturday, March 28   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
Coronavirus
Which of these online initiatives should churches prioritise?






SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Religious freedom
 

Algerian Christians rally for “freedom of worship without intimidation”

Peaceful demonstrations call authorities to “stop closure of worship places”. Churches re-organise themselves in houses as the government threatens to close more buildings.

AUTHOR Joel Forster , Evangelical Focus TIZI-OUZOU 15 OCTOBER 2019 16:00 h GMT+1
Algerian Protestant Christians demonstrate for freedom of religion, October 2019. / EF

Algerian Protestant Christians have protested peacefully in the last days against the “unjust” governmental campaign to close churches.



Groups of believers have called on the streets for “freedom of worship without intimidation”. “Mr Governor, stop the closure of churches”, said one of the signs written in Arabic and French.



“No to the unjust closure of churches” was written on another banner. Demonstrators also called to “derogate the 06/03 law of 2006”, a controversial order used to hinder the activities of faith minorities.



 



BUILDINGS CLOSED, MATERIALS BLOCKED



“The closures of churches happen arbitrarily, with no chance of taking the materials out of the worship places. Chairs, microphones, materials, Bibles, everything is blocked”, told Evangelical Focus an Algerian source who knows the churches on the ground well.



Several local churches have moved their belongings to other worship places when the intervention of police officers seemed imminent.



Nine Protestant worship places have already been closed in 12 months, the last case being a “witness point” of a larger church in Tizi-Ouzou.



 



AN ANTI-PROTESTANT CAMPAIGN



The government action against Protestant groups has focused much on the Kabylie region. Some believers in the region see it as a “provocation” of the government with the underlying aim of prompting some kind of reaction that could then be punished “with a firm hand”, the source said.



Nevertheless, Algerian church leaders have called to maintain a peaceful attitude, not expressing anti-governmental opinions on social media, and defending religious freedom as they continue to engage in the prayer and fasting initiatives started in March.



The hostility of the government has led to a “stronger unity than ever before among the churches”. The significant growth of the Christian Protestant communities in the last twenty years may have led to some discrepancies in secondary theological issues, but these have now been set aside “to face all these injustices together”, the Algerian source told Evangelical Focus.



Christian communities whose places of worship have been shut have found the collaboration of other groups who are offering their facilities. “New groups in houses” have also been started lately.



The national government of Algeria is in the midst of a confusing transition time after the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Abdelkader Bensalah is the new interim leader called to organise new elections.



 



Algerian Protestant Christians demonstrate for freedom of religion, October 2019. / EF



MORE CHURCHES AT RISK



In the last days, it has been known that two more churches in the Kabylie region could be forcibly closed.



So far, authorities have justified their actions arguing that most Protestant places of worship do not have the license required under a law of 2006, known as the 06/03 order.



The Algerian Protestant Church (EPA, in French), an entity formed four decades ago which now unites more than forty Protestant churches in the country, has denounced Christian communities have applied for these licenses for many years, but authorities have intentionally ignored their requests in order to put them in a position of illegality.



Algerian Human Rights experts are seeking to derogate the law.



 



WEA DEMANDS END OF CLOSURES



The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of the international organisations that has positioned itself in favour of the Algerian Protestant Church.



The WEA addressed the situation at the recent September sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. It denounced that “the churches are in a legal grey-zone of non-recognition, giving authorities the latitude to close one building after the other”. The body representing 600 million evangelical Christians worldwide called to “end the campaign against Protestant churches, and review the registration process”.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Algerian Christians rally for “freedom of worship without intimidation”
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Jonathan Tame: Economy, looking back at the decade Jonathan Tame: Economy, looking back at the decade

The Director of the Jubilee Centre (Cambridge) analyses the impact of the financial crises on families, and the future of the workplace in a connected world, from a Christian perspective.

 
Jim Memory: Europe, looking back at the decade Jim Memory: Europe, looking back at the decade

Jim Memory analyses the main issues that have changed Europe in the 2010-2019 decade. How should Christians live in a continent that has lost its soul?

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
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.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Photos: European Week of Prayer Photos: European Week of Prayer

Christians joined the Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer in dozens of European cities as local churches came together to worship God. 

 
Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’ Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’

Photos of the student conference that brought together 3,000 European Christians in Germany. ‘Revive our hearts, revive our universities, revive Europe’.

 
VIDEO Video
 
How should Christ's love inform your parenting of teenagers? How should Christ's love inform your parenting of teenagers?

Dave Patty shares about the notion of parenting children on God’s behalf.

 
What is a prayer meeting? What is a prayer meeting?

“Prayer is like a fire. One spark that someone prays should ignite a passion in someone else”. Mike Betts leads the network of churches Relational Mission.

 
Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’ Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’

A video summary of the student conference that gathered 3,000 in Karlsruhe, Germany. 6 days in 6 minutes.

 
 
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.