US Leaders Denounce Christian Persecution in Algeria
Rep. Doug Lamborn Calls Attention to Persecution Through Congressional Letter
05/11/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Congressman Doug Lamborn has delivered a letter to the Algerian government, calling attention to the increasing persecution of Christians in Algeria. Much of Algeria’s Christian population, represented by the Eglise Protestante d’Algérie (EPA), worshipped in relative peace for many decades. However, in recent years, they have been systematically targeted by the Algerian government through a series of church closures and increasing intimidation tactics against the Christian community. The Algerian government closed 18 EPA-affiliated churches between November 2017 and the end of 2019.
A similar letter was sent by Representative Doug Lamborn at the end of 2019 to the Algerian government regarding the growing persecution of Christians. Nine other representatives signed this letter.
The letter comes in the wake of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) adding Algeria to its 2020 annual report on the world’s worst religious freedom violators. “The [Algerian] government,” USCIRF reports, “systematically cracked down on the Evangelical Protestant community.” This represented the first time in history that Algeria had been added to the Watchlist.
ICC celebrates the leadership of Representative Doug Lamborn and his fellow co-signers in this effort as it will certainly deliver a much needed additional point of pressure to the Algerian leadership. Algeria needs to know that the world is watching, and the government of Algeria should take note of what its allies are saying in order to develop stronger relationships with the global community.
ICC continues to work with the leadership of the EPA and will not relent in their efforts to see Christians in Algeria once again free to assemble and worship. “We are excited to see the letter come to a completion,” said Matias Perttula, who serves as ICC’s Advocacy Director. “The letter is timely as the USCIRF report rightly recommended Algeria to be added to the Department of State’s Watchlist. All of these efforts should serve as a wake-up call to the Algerian government to move the country in a direction of greater religious freedom for all Algerians.”
ICC will continue to monitor the situation and will report on any significant developments, as well as continue to hold the Algerian government accountable.