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08/08/2019 Algeria (International Christian Concern) –  Authorities sealed yet another church in Algeria on Tuesday. The church is affiliated with the legally recognized umbrella group of protestant churches in Algeria, the EPA, and has existed since 2006. The church closure affects approximately 100 members.

The police executing the closure order interrupted a church service, which deeply upset the congregation. They initially did not want to comply, but church leaders urged them to exit the building so the church could be sealed. The police told the pastor that he would be held personally responsible if the congregation did not allow them to close the church. The officers emptied the church of all contents prior to sealing. The congregation has decided to continue worship outside of the building.

Algerian authorities began a campaign in November 2017 where they visited nearly every EPA affiliated church (45 congregations). Since then, they have steadily been closing churches under various pretenses. The government is currently in a state of transition following massive protests, and it is not clear how this will impact Algeria’s Christian community in the long term.

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