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05/25/2019 Algeria (International Christian Concern) –  Once again, Algerian authorities have violated religious freedom by shuttering another church on May 22nd. The authorities claim that the church, which is located in Boudjima, did not have authorization as a non-Muslim place of worship, reports Morning Star.

This claim bears special significance because the church in question is led by Pastor Youcef Ourahmane, who is the vice president of the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA), which is legally recognized in Algeria. It serves as an umbrella for most other protestant churches, as the authorities have never convened the national committee which is supposed to grant authorization for individual churches.

Algerian Christians have long warned that their churches were being closed so as to increase pressure on the EPA. However, this recent closure represents a new escalation since it targeted the church of a known EPA leader. It stands in direct contrast to Algeria’s own laws and shows the extent to which religious freedom continues to decrease in country.

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