Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Threatened churches in Algeria remain open

Pray for religious freedom in Algeria!
On May 7, we shared that seven Algerian churches were ordered to close.

At a press conference on June 2, Algeria’s Minister of Interior Dahou Ould Kablia stated the Protestant Church of Béjaia will be “allowed to continue their activities until they receive the necessary authorization,” reported International Christian Concern.

In May, the president of the Protestant Church Association (EPA) was informed that seven Protestant churches in the Béjaia province were ordered to permanently close. The demand is in accordance with a 2006 law known as Ordinance 06-03.

The ordinance requires non-Muslims to obtain permission to meet. The ministries responsible for granting permission have not made the registration process an easy one, and it can often take years for registrations to be approved.

In April 2011, a church in the village of Makouda was given 48 hours to shutdown. The commissioner did not accept the documents the pastor presented proving his affiliation with the EPA. However, that church, too, remains open.

Thankfully, the seven churches in Bejaia ordered to close on May 7 did not shut their doors and continue to meet in the face of opposition.

One church congregant said, “We worship out of conviction. We are not afraid, because we did nothing wrong. We were never forced to choose Jesus, but we did so voluntarily. Whatever the circumstances, we will continue to say: we are here to praise your name Lord.”

You can read the whole article here.

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