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Published on 24 October, 2008

Persecution rising in Algeria

Algeria (MNN) — Courthouses in Algeria are collecting more
and more Christians. Operation Mobilization reports the sentencing of five
missionaries and several local believers.

The Christians received two to three
years in prison plus fines, but they are appealing. Although persecution is an opportunity
to witness and grow, it's also emotionally draining.

So far, 20 churches
have been told to stop their activities, but they're ignoring this order. In
September, six members of a house fellowship were handcuffed after the meeting
and held in custody overnight. Their gathering "disturbed the faith of Muslims,"
and the believers were ridiculed, pressured and accused of becoming Christians
for the money and visas. "The only visa we have received is that to heaven,"
the believers replied.

Among the Christians that visited the court in Tiaret to
learn about trial results were local newspapers and internationals. Some of the
cases included six believers who were sentenced to two years in prison and two
believers that were going through trial again. In the first case, believers
were accused of "shaking the faith of Muslims" and "holding religious meetings
without permission," On top of the two-year prison sentence, the Christians
were fined $5,000 euros apiece. In a separate case, two believers have to face
the judge in Tiaret for a second time. Previously held for three days after
being found not guilty for carrying Christian literature, the believers are
facing trial again.


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