Algeria: New Constitution, Closed Churches

11/08/2020 Algeria (International Christian Concern) – Despite a low voter turnout, Algeria voted on November 1st to approve constitutional reforms which Christians worry will do little to protect religious freedom. Already, Algerian authorities have taken new steps which fail to protect the rights of Christians to worship.

Churches in Algeria have faced closures since 2017, despite being legally recognized by affiliating with the Evangelical Protestant Association (EPA). The pandemic accelerated these closures, as every religious institution was ordered to close. However, mosques have begun re-opening and churches have not.

The new constitution includes language which says that the protection of places of worship shall be ensured by the state. But as recent events already show, that is not the case. An Algerian pastor living in a large city received notice last week that every local mosque is now allowed to open. However the list produced by the authorities included no churches.

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