ALGERIA

The family is the source of greatest pressure for Christians in Algeria, most of whom are from Muslim backgrounds

Algeria

World Watch List Rank World Watch List Score
36 58/100
Leader Population
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika 41,064,000 (37,700 Christians)
Main Religion Government
Islam Republic
Source of Persecution Persecution Level
Islamic extremism/ Dictatorial paranoia High Persecution

The next strongest pressure comes from the law. Ordinance No. 06-03, introduced in 2006 to prohibit public assembly for purposes of practicing a faith other than Islam has created a more restrictive environment for Christians. This affects most Christian places of worship, except for Catholic churches and one Protestant church. In addition, Islamist movements such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are increasingly making their presence felt.

PERSECUTION IN ALGERIA

"Women who convert to Jesus Christ face new challenges, which sometimes cost them dearly," says Djamila, a Christian woman in Algeria. Converted more than twenty years ago, Djamila lived her early years after her conversion to Jesus under pressure from her Muslim parents. She only found full freedom to live out her beliefs once married to a man who shares the same faith. She currently serves alongside him in a local church in Northern Algeria.

"Algerian women have always been under pressure. Women have the right to exist as long as they stay silent. They face rejection and humiliation by their families. Others are repudiated by their husbands because of their faith. They may even be deprived of their children in the case of divorce from their Muslim husband. The Algerian Family Code does not grant custody to the spouse who confesses a religion other than Islam. Other women are forced to wear the hijab (Islamic headscarf) otherwise they are not allowed to leave their home. Parents can force their Christian daughter to marry a Muslim, something that is contrary to the Word of God. When married, she suddenly finds herself in a situation of conflict and incompatibility, which sometimes ends in a divorce.The church offers a positive environment to women where they can serve as pastors, deacons and elders. "Also young girls and students who have a heart to serve, despite the constraints and challenges they face, are involved. It would be good to encourage women, to offer training and to help them to root more in the Word of God. They should gain more experience and learn to embrace responsibilities. I believe women can turn into trainers for the future generations."

HOW WE HELP

In cooperation with local partners and churches, Open Doors is supporting the church in Algeria through:

  • Training
  • Literature distribution
  • Socio-economic development projects
  • Advocacy support.

PRAYER POINTS FOR ALGERIA

  • That the government will be more open towards Christians and will acknowledge their rights as lawful citizens
  • For protection for Christians who are persecuted by their Muslim background families, ask God to help them forgive
  • Give thanks that the Algerian church continues to grow: pray that new believers will grow spiritually.
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TAKE ACTION

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