Pastor Youssef Ourahmane, vice-president of the EPA, requests continued prayer after a 2 May appeal verdict, which confirmed a previous sentence of one year applied imprisonment as well as a 100.000 DZD (approximately US$ 735) fine on charges of holding an unauthorized religious assembly and holding worship in a building not permitted for worship.

​​​​​​​The charges are based on two articles of the 2006 ordinance regulating non-Muslim worship. The appeal court added an additional six months suspended prison sentence.

An investigation began in March 2023 when a small number of Christian families spent three days holiday in a church compound under his supervision. The small church in the compound had been sealed in 2019 by an order from the Governor of the province.

Pastor Ourahmane was not informed of the original court hearing or verdict (two years in prison and a fine) until mid-September 2023. An appeal verdict, announced on 27 November 2023, reduced the sentence to one year imprisonment. The current appeal was heard on 23 April 2024.

The prison sentence is suspended pending a further appeal to the Supreme Court

Pastor Ourahmane oversees a number of churches and Bible schools in several areas of the country, in addition to his responsibility as vice-president of the EPA (Église Protestante d’ Algérie), an association of more than 45 Protestant churches.

Prosecuting the vice-president of the EPA is an escalation of a campaign, started in 2017, to close Protestant churches and harass leaders. Only a handful of churches are still open. Several Christians, especially church leaders, have faced court cases on different charges.

Prayer Points

Christians in Algeria urge us to pray

  • for Pastor Youssef and his family to know the comfort of the Father
  • for the EPA and the church in Algeria, to know the wisdom of Holy Spirit in dealing with this campaign
  • for Algerian church leaders to persevere in the face of increasing challenges for churches and individual Christians
  • for the government campaign against the Church and Christians to cease, so that Christians can live in peace and freedom
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