03/17/2019 Algeria (International Christian Concern) – Throughout the past three weeks, Algerians have massively protested against a fifth term for President Bouteflika. Hoping to capitalize on the unrest, last week al-Qaeda began publicizing new content which calls for Sharia governance in Algeria. The terrorist organization calls protesting Algerians the “sons of Islam” and says that President Bouteflika is “loyal to the Jews and Christians.”
In reality, Algerian Christians have faced heavy persecution at the hands of the government. The authorities have heavily campaigned to close churches since 2017. They falsely claim that the churches failed safety inspections and have not sought legal recognition. Algerian Christians have also faced imprisonment for the public practice of faith.
Terrorist groups have a long history of attempting to take advantage of political unrest to capitalize upon and increase hardline Islamic sentiment. Christians are often used in their propaganda as part of their efforts. For this reason, times of unrest such as what Algeria is experiencing are an especially sensitive time for Christians.