08/21/2019 Algeria (International Christian Concern) – Algerian police on Sunday visited two churches and informed the congregation that within ten days, the authorities would seal the church. The churches are located in Akbou and Ighzer Amokrane.
The Algerian government began in 2017 a campaign that has left several churches closed and even more threatened with closure. The authorities first visited churches under the guise of conducting “safety inspections.” Soon after, churches began closing, even though they were affiliated with the legally protected Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA).
As part of these safety inspections, the authorities asked congregations to produce a license authorizing a building for non-Muslim worship. This license is impossible to obtain.
The government established a process of issuing the license in 2006, but the required approval committee has never met and therefore no license has been issued. For this reason, churches choose to affiliate with the EPA and thereby obtain legal protections. There is much concern that these church closures are a new way for the government to target the EPA.
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