Algeria Orders Churches to Close (courtesy of Christian Voice, UK)

Seven churches in Algeria have been ordered to close, following,  the,  passage of a law requiring registration.

One report is saying that a notice, dated 22 May, was sent from a High Police Commissioner informing the President of the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA) that a decision had been made to close down all Christian places of worship throughout the country that are not designated for religious purposes, and threatened “severe consequences and punishments” for violation of the order.

Other reports say the Governor of Bejaia has informed the President of EPA that the seven churches in that particular province of Algeria must close down.

Whichever story is the more accurate, and it is often difficult to get precise information in these situations, this is a calculated assault on the church of Jesus Christ and stems from a 2006 law which regulates the exercise of religions other than Islam.,   Like Pakistan’s blasphemy law, this is a measure specifically designed to cause difficulty to the practice of the Christian Faith.

Naturally, the EPA churches cannot comply with the regulations because the Ministries of Interior and Religious Affairs have delayed responding to the EPA’s application for registration. Without legal registration, the EPA cannot apply to register their churches as places of worship.

Algeria is overwhelmingly Muslim with around 60,000 Christians, the majority being what Muslims will regard as ‘apostates’, in other words, converts from Islam.

Algerian Christians have appealed for urgent prayer for the order to close down the churches to be withdrawn and that the idea,  will not spread to other parts of the country. They also ask us to pray for 2006 law to be repealed or the necessary procedures implemented to allow the EPA to register.

WRITE (or email): to your MP at: House of Commons, London,SW1A 0AA. Ask your MP to ask the Foreign Secretary what representations the Government have made to the Algerian authorities to demand that they rescind the order, repeal the 2006 law and allow Algeria’s Christians freedom of worship.

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