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Signs protesting illegal church closures
Church members hang signs protesting
the illegal closure of their church.

The Spring of Life Church in Makouda is the second largest Protestant church in Algeria with about 700 members. In October 2019, it was ordered to be closed, along with two other churches (see this report). The closures happened under Ordinance 06-03, which states that permission must be obtained before using a building for non-Muslim worship.

Since the ordinance was enacted in 2006, Algerian authorities have failed to respond to any application for permission. As a result, it became common practice to rent a building and then inform local authorities that it is being used as a place of worship. Starting in November 2017, however, authorities began acting on the ordinance by closing several churches.

In response to the closures, ten of the churches filed cases with the administrative courts. The Spring of Life Church recently received a court ruling upholding the order to close. The congregants of other closed churches are concerned that this may set a precedent for similar rules. There are also concerns that this may embolden governors to order more closures.

On the same day that the Spring of Life Church was closed, the Full Gospel of Tizi-Ouzou (the largest Protestant church in Algeria) was also forced to close. Video footage of that raid is available here.

Prayerfully remember the church leaders represented by Algeria's various denominational groups as they seek to wisely address these mounting challenges and determine how to carry on with the work of the Gospel. May the country's governing leaders and those of the courts come to understand the importance of religious freedom, and thereby enact laws in support of such.

Current Ministry Project

VOMC is equipping persecuted Christians in Algeria with Biblical and theological training through the support of a seminary that provides contextually Biblical and relevant training.

Project Fund: Equipping the Saints

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
42,972,878 (July 2020 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Aran-Berber (99), European (<1)

Religions (%)
Muslim (99), Other, Christian and Jewish (<1)

Leader
Abdelmadjid Tebboune (Dec. 2019)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
mix of French civil law and Islamic law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Algeria

Pray that God will use the current restrictions to draw many more Algerians into a relationship with Christ. Pray for conversions to Jesus among the country’s powerful Islamist leaders.

Pray Algerian believers will respond to pressure with faith and perseverance.

Pray for the nation's young people, who make up a large percentage of the population in general, as well as the majority of Christians. May they not be frustrated or disillusioned but rather strengthened and encouraged in Christ Jesus.

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