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Persecution Algeria – Church threatened

April 2016

Christians in Algeria are facing increasing problems when it comes to practising their faith, reports from Release International have said.

According to the Christian advocacy organisation, a church in the Kabylie area of northern Algeria is being threatened with closure. Officials have given warning that they will start legal action against its pastor if he continues to hold services. The church is linked to the state-approved Protestant Church of Algeria.

The church received a letter last week telling it to stop all religious activities, because it was in breach of a 2006 decree regulating the use of buildings as places of worship. Congregations in Algeria are required to seek a permit to use a building for non-Muslim worship, but the authorities rarely respond to applications.

In 2011 a church in Bejaia, a province in Kabylie, faced the same threat after the local mayor ordered its closure, but he withdrew the order following protests by Christians and religious rights campaigners.