Algeria (MNN) — Algeria gained new leadership this summer, but believers face the same persecution and oppression as before.
“Unfortunately, church closures are continuing. Four more churches have been ordered to cease all their activities, but they have not been physically sealed,” Daniel Hoffman of Middle East Concern says.
“In total, 20 churches have been stopped from meeting and operating by the authorities.”
Algerian Christians face systemic persecution through the legal system. A 2006 law requires all non-Muslim religions to register their place of worship, but officials have yet to approve any applications. More about that here.
Earlier this year, three previously-closed churches appealed their court-ordered closure. A judge allowed the churches to reopen and stay open during the legal proceedings, but the final ruling did not favor the believers.
“In July of this year, those three churches were [re-closed and] sealed,” Hoffman says.
Once a court orders a church to close, “the police come, and they put wax on the door, so you can’t open the door without breaking the seal. That’s a crime in itself,” he continues.
“No churches have been allowed to reopen.”
Connect with Middle East Concern here for practical ways to help. “Pray Christians in Algeria will remain encouraged during the challenges and difficulties they’re facing,” Hoffman requests.
“Pray for their protection, and for justice to be done in these different court cases and the church closures, and for them to be reversed.”
You can post your prayer for Algerian Christians on Twitter by tagging @MiddleEConcern.
“If we’re able to tell them people are praying for them, that is always a great encouragement, and it strengthens them in the midst of their challenges,” Hoffman says.
Header image depicts a church that was closed and sealed in 2019. (Photo courtesy of Middle East Concern)