Only eight churches remain open in Algeria

By March 6, 2023

Algeria (MNN) — A state-led campaign against Protestant churches continues in Algeria. Last month, believers told MNN that only ten churches remained open in the entire country.

Today, “there are eight (churches) left open, but you never know for how long,” says Youssef*, a Protestant leader partnering with Operation Mobilization USA.

“[The remaining churches] have been visited by the authorities, and you never know what will happen tomorrow.”

A 2006 law set the tone for legal persecution. Then, “the plan started in 2018 to close down all the churches,” Youssef says.

“[From] 2019 to today, they have closed down 43 churches.”

The systematic church closures are part of a broader lockdown on individual freedoms. Last month, Algeria’s government shut down several civic groups. It also forced Algeria’s oldest independent human rights organization to close its doors.

“This is the situation we’re in. It’s quite sensitive, delicate, and challenging,” Youssef says.

The small but growing indigenous Christian population – mainly converts from Islam and their children – stands firm. “The Church in Algeria will never disappear because the vast majority of the Christians are Berber [and] Kabyle,” Youssef says.

As nomadic people groups, “they can meet anywhere. They have [the] Bible in their mother tongue; they have the worship songs in their mother tongues.”

Pray the Body of Christ will continue to grow in Algeria. Pray that many who are traumatized by violence will meet the Great Physician.

Support Algerian Christians through OM USA.



*Name withheld for security purposes



Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Nerosable/Pexels.

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