ALGERIA – Another church building forcibly closed

Middle East Concern | Sept. 25, 2019


Algerian Christians request prayer as the campaign to close churches continues. On 24 September, the police director of Boghni announced that a church building had been sealed, based on a closure order issued by the Governor of Tizi Ouzou on 18 September.

Boghni is located 35 km south of Tizi Ouzou. The church building serves two congregations. Both have been affiliated with the l’Église Protestante d’Algérie (EPA), the legally recognised umbrella organisation of Protestant churches in Algeria, for about ten years. Together, they serve about 380 members.

Since November 2017, the government has been engaged in a systematic campaign against Christians. EPA-affiliated churches have been challenged to prove that they have licenses according to the requirement of a 2006 ordinance regulating non-Muslim worship. These regulations stipulate that all places of non-Muslim worship must be licenced. However, the government has yet to issue any licence for a church buildings under this ordinance, ignoring applications from churches to regularize their status in accordance with the ordinance.

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