On 5th August Middle East Concern distributed a prayer request for a Christian man in Algeria arrested on 31st July and accused of blasphemy against Islam. Slimane Bouhafs (49) had published a message on social media about the light of Jesus overcoming the lie of Islam and its Prophet in the Kabylie area.
Slimane was interrogated by the prosecutor on the day of his arrest (31st July) although he did not have a lawyer. The court scheduled a hearing for him on 7th August. Although his family and an Algerian secular human rights organisation appointed lawyers for him, the court claimed that he had decided to defend himself.
He was given the maximum sentence for blasphemy in the Algerian penal code, five years’ imprisonment and a large fine. The Église Protestante d’Algérie (the EPA / Protestant Church of Algeria) intends to appeal against the verdict.
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Christians in Algeria request your prayers that:
a. Slimane, his family and church will experience the peace of Jesus and the comfort of the Holy Spirit at this difficult time
b. he will be able to appeal against the verdict, will not be punished for blasphemy but instead will be released soon
c. the local authorities will cease attempts to intimidate Christians, and that the church in Algeria will grow and continue to witness throughout the country
d. there will be peace and justice in Algeria, and that Christians will be allowed their fundamental rights