|Score:||58 / 100|
|Persecution Type:||Islamic Oppression|
|Leader:||President Abdelaziz Bouteflika|
Profile of Persecution Methodology
Where Persecution Comes From
The pressure that Algerian Christians experience in all areas of life makes it difficult for them to openly practice their faith. Much of this pressure is due to 99 percent of the country’s population identifying as Muslim. Intolerance from Muslim relatives and neighbors is a major source of Christian persecution. In addition to this community pressure, the state restricts freedom of religion through stringent laws and bureaucracy. The influence and activity of radical Islamic groups pose additional danger for Christians, while tension between Amazighs (ethnic Berbers, many of whom are coming to Christ) and Arabs makes matters even worse for Amazigh Christians.
How Christians are Suffering
Christians in Algeria suffer from various restrictions and challenges imposed by both the state and society. Laws regulating non-Muslim worship, banning conversion and prohibiting blasphemy make proselytizing and public expression of the Christian faith dangerous. Even casual conversations between friends and family members regarding faith can be grounds for blasphemy charges. In the rural and more conservative Islamic regions of the country, the danger is even greater. Christians in all parts of the country also suffer harassment and discrimination at the hands of family and neighbors who pressure or force them to adhere to Islamic norms and rites surrounding marriage, burial and other life events.
Over the last few years, several Christian churches with members from Muslim backgrounds have been ordered to cease all religious activities. This is due to a law passed in 2006 regulating the religious activity of non-Muslims.
In July 2016, Slimane Bouhafs was arrested for insulting Islam and has been serving time in prison ever since. Other prisoners have been aggressive in harassing him for his faith during the entire time of his incarceration.
In October 2016, the family of a 70-year-old Christian man was forced by their local imam and villagers to bury him according to Islamic religious rites. They were not able to give him a Christian funeral.
Pray for Algeria
- The political future remains uncertain in Algeria, and it seems that the government is trying to prepare a succession for President Bouteflika. Pray for a smooth transition without violence. Also pray that the “new” government will be more open toward Christians and will acknowledge their rights as lawful citizens.
- Praise God that the Algerian Church continues to grow. Pray specifically that new believers who enter the Church will grow spiritually.
- Pray for Christians who are persecuted by their families, which is often the case for believers from Muslim backgrounds. Please pray for their protection, as well as love and forgiveness toward their persecutors.
Stories from Algeria
Muslim background believers (MBBs) face isolation and shame for their decision to turn from Islam to Christianity--often leading to financial…