03/03/2019 Algeria (International Christian Concern) – The French Parliament has officially opened an inquiry into the persecution of Christians in Algeria. The inquiry specifically points to Algeria’s closure of churches and legal proceedings held against Christian leaders, including those who imported Christian books.
Algeria uses building safety committees to shutter churches indefinitely. The authorities also create substantial obstacles for the opening of new churches, making it impossible and leaving Christians to worship in buildings intended for other uses. Algeria has cracked down against churches since 2017, increasingly forcing Christians out of the public sphere.
The authorities have not only closed churches, but have also targeted Christian leaders. Algeria’s constitution provides for the freedom of worship but declares Islam to be the state religion. Insulting or offending Islam is considered a criminal offense. In addition to imprisonment, convicted Christians can also face hefty fines if convicted of blasphemy.