ALGERIA – Algeria: Update on Christians acquitted of charges

Middle East Concern | Jan. 10, 2019

On 26 December 2018, MEC reported that four Christians from Muslim backgrounds, including three from the same family, were acquitted of proselytism charges in a hearing on 25 December. They had been charged with “Inciting a Muslim to change his religion,” an offence under Ordinance 3-6 of 2006, punishable with a prison term of two to five years and a fine of 500,000 to one million Algerian Dinars (approx. US$4,350 to US$8,700). The prosecutor has now appealed the acquittal and has requested another hearing on 20 January.

In a second case, another Algerian Christian, also from a Muslim background, was acquitted of blasphemy charges in a court hearing on 30 December 2018. This Christian, a farmer from Ain-Defla Province, became a Christian in 2013. When his wife’s family discovered his faith decision, they insulted, harassed and threatened him, forcing him to move with his wife and their two young daughters to another province where he found work as a labourer.