The appeal hearing for Foudhil Bahloul, who in July received a six month prison sentence for receiving “illegal donations,” will be heard on 27 October 2021.
Foudhil (35), a Christian from a Muslim background, was sentenced to six months imprisonment and fined 100,000 DZD (approx US $750).
He had been arrested, his house searched and Christian materials confiscated on 17 April. He was then summoned to a 2 June court hearing, to be charged with “collecting donations or accepting gifts without a license from the authorized departments.” This charge stemmed from his occasionally accepting assistance for living costs while he seeks employment.
At a 30 June hearing he was surprised to face additional charges of distributing Bibles, printing brochures to distribute to Muslims. The verdict also referred to “suspicious evangelistic activities,” “poisoning the minds of youth” and “luring people to convert to Christianity.” All charges are based on the 2006 Ordinance to “Regulate non-Muslim Worship,” carrying punishment of up to five years in prison and fines of up to 1,000,000 DZD (US$7,500). These allegations are still pending.
In 2017, because of his conversion, Foudhil’s wife accused him of attacking Islam. She later divorced him, taking custody of his two young daughters. His family destroyed his business and disowned him. He was threatened by community members and had to relocate. Now he is forced to pay alimony, despite being unemployed. He maintains an active witness, reaching out to others in the area where he now lives.
Christians in Algeria ask for continued prayer:
- for Foudhil to know the peace of Jesus and His encouragement while facing these continued difficulties
- that justice will be done,
- that Foudhil will have adequate legal representation
- giving thanks that he was only convicted on the original charge and praying that the other allegations will not be pursued
- for him to be acquitted on appeal and that he will face no future police harassment and be able to live in freedom
- for the campaign to harass Christians and against the church in the country to come to an end