Algeria (MNN) — Algeria boasts a rich Christian history; as described here, “The early church father Augustine of Hippo is thought to have been a Berber from Algeria.” Today, Islam is the state religion of Algeria, and the government actively oppresses Christians.
“In the last 12 months, there have been at least eight Christians involved in legal proceedings started by the authorities against them. Either they’re accused of performing religious activities in a building that doesn’t have a permit or a few of them have been accused of blasphemy,” Middle East Concern’s Daniel Hoffman says.
“One person was sentenced to five years in prison because he liked a Facebook post that, in the eyes of the government, insulted Islam.”
Additionally, authorities have yet to approve any church request to use a building for non-Islamic worship – a legal requirement added in 2006. As stated on Middle East Concern’s website:
Intensification of these pressures since November 2017 has led to a wave of church closure orders in the Kabyle region and the south of Algeria. Any Christian activities conducted outside places of worship approved for that purpose are subjected to sanctions, especially if those activities are construed as proselytism or blasphemy.
Pray for Foudhil
Believers from a Muslim background, like Foudhil, face difficulty on every front. “When he became a Christian, his family disowned him and they physically destroyed his business,” Hoffman says.
“He’s struggling, because of his faith, to find employment. Sometimes, his employer discovers he is a Christian and he’s fired again.”
Foudhil’s wife divorced him when he became a Christian and has full custody of their kids. Fellow believers gave Foudhil money when he was out of work to help pay for his living expenses. “Because of that, he was charged with receiving donations illegally,” Hoffman says.
Read the latest update on Foudhil’s case here. Pray Foudhil will know the peace of Jesus and His encouragement while facing these ongoing trials.
“He was just informed of the verdict of the appeal; the prison sentence has become a suspended prison sentence but the fine remains, so he will further appeal that sentence,” Hoffman says.
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Christian Weiss/Unsplash.