Algerian Christians request prayer following the closure of another church on 6 August. The church in Boudjima, 25km from Tizi Ouzou, was sealed closed by officers of the National Gendarmerie, upon the orders of the governor of Tizi Ouzou Province.
This church is affiliated with l’Église Protestante d’Algérie (EPA), the legally recognised umbrella group of Protestant churches in Algeria, and has been functioning since 2006. It has approximately 100 members. Officials sealed another church in the same area in May 2019.
Since November 2017, most EPA-affiliated churches have been challenged to prove that they have licenses according to the requirement of a 2006 ordinance regulating non-Muslim worship, which stipulates that all places of non-Muslim worship must be licenced. However, the government has yet to issue any licence for a church buildings under this ordinance, ignoring applications from churches to regularise their status in accordance with the ordinance.
Several churches have since received written orders to cease all activities. At least 6 EPA-affiliated churches have been closed by authorities since November 2017 because they did not have a license.
Algerian Christians urge us to pray that:
a. church and EPA leaders would know the Lord’s peace, wisdom and guidance in the face of the growing pressure
b. the authorities will end their systematic campaign to close churches and limit Christians’ freedom to worship
c. churches ordered to close would soon be permitted to re-open, and that no further action will be taken against those churches still under investigation
d. the regulations governing non-Muslim worship would be amended and justly implemented, so that Christians will be able to worship freely
e. those responsible for the closure orders would know the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness and new life offered by Jesus