Saturday, May 7, 2011

Algerian Christians arrested for proselytizing and blasphemy

Two Algerian Christian men are scheduled to appear in court on charges of proselytizing and blasphemy, reported International Christian Concern.

Sofiane and Krimo were arrested in Oran on April 14 after sharing their Christian faith with their neighbours. Sofiane was released a day after their arrest, while Krimo was imprisoned for three days.

After the arrest, Algerian police searched Krimo's home for Bibles and other Christian material. Krimo was known to hold weekly prayer services at his home, which local Christians suspect were being closely monitored by the police.

A court hearing, initially scheduled for April 27, was postponed to a later date.

Algerian Christians are fearful that a law introduced in 2006—requiring religious services to obtain a government permit to worship—will be applied, which may result in a five-year imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 Algerian dinars ($1,337 CAD). Church leadership has expressed frustration over the government's negligence to lay out a set procedure to register a church or to approve a permit quickly.

Please pray for a favourable outcome for Sofiane and Krimo at the next court hearing. Pray the Lord will use this case and their testimony to encourage the faith of other believers in Algeria. Pray those in authority will recognize the lack of religious freedoms in the country and make changes accordingly.

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