Algerian Christians are rejoicing after a court decision that allows a bookshop managed by a Christian to reopen.
In November 2017, a church and bookshop in Ain Turk, near Oran, were closed by government authorities. In June 2018 the church was reopened but the bookshop remained closed. On 13 December a court canceled the Governor’s decision to close the bookshop.
The closure order claimed the bookshop, of which the pastor of the Ain Turk church is the tenant, was illegally printing Bibles and evangelistic brochures. The police raided the bookshop, confiscated books and equipment but returned them when no proof of the allegations was found. Despite that, a closure order was issued by the Governor of Oran.
The order wrongly identified another Christian, as the tenant of the bookshop and alleged he used the bookshop in ‘evangelistic activities. The court decided the said Christian was not involved, and the closure order should have been issued with the name of the tenant. The court decision which permits the reopening did not refer to the allegations of evangelism and refused a request from the pastor for compensation.
Algerian Christians are grateful for the many who are standing with them in prayer. They ask for continued prayer that:
- no further action will be taken against the Christian accused of evangelism, which can be a criminal offense in Algeria
- the authorities will bring a complete end to the campaign to close churches and limit Christians’ freedom to worship
- Algerian Christians will know the Lord’s peace, wisdom and guidance in the face of ongoing pressure
- other churches and church institutions that are still closed would soon be permitted to reopen
- those responsible for the closure orders would know the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness and new life offered by Jesus