Algerian Christians have requested prayer for a French Christian, resident in Algeria for several years, who has been denied re-entry to Algeria.
Pastor Louis Martinez, in his 60s, is affiliated with the French Reformed Church. He and his wife have lived in Oran for several years where he has been manager of a private French language school. He and the language school have been well regarded in the local community. He was also known as a close friend of the local church (though he had no leadership responsibilities in the church).
On 13 December 2017, following a trip out of Algeria, he was stopped at Oran airport and denied re-entry to the country. He was asked to submit his residency permit, which had recently been issued and was valid for ten years, and informed that he must leave Algeria. The authorities gave no reason for his deportation. His wife was subsequently able to settle their family and business affairs in Algeria and has recently also left the country.
Algerian church leaders note that this deportation is consistent with a wider pattern of denial of visas for church visitors, which seems to be part of a policy whereby the Algerian authorities are restricting the ability of Algerian churches to partner with outside entities.
Algerian Christians ask us to pray:
- that Pastor Louis and his family will know the peace of Jesus, the comfort of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the Father for their future.
- for an end to the government’s policy of restricting churches’ ability to partner with non-Algerian entities.
- for an end to a wider campaign of limiting the freedom of Christians to meet, including through the closure of churches.
- that the regulations governing non-Muslim worship will be amended and justly implemented, so that Christians will be able to worship freely
- that those responsible for these pressures will know the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness and new life offered by Jesus