Algerian church forced to close
Barnabas Fund, 19 April 2022 (excerpts)
A church in the port city of Béjaïa, Algeria, has been closed with immediate effect.
The provincial governor issued an administrative closure order on 21 March, communicated to the Aouchiche church leaders on 6 April, to stop worship meetings.
The church has more than 300 members and belongs to the officially recognised group of Protestant churches in Algeria.
Aouchiche is the seventeenth such church to be closed by the authorities since November 2017.
A 2006 ordinance stipulates that permission must be obtained before a building is used for non-Muslim worship.
Several churches have been closed under this ordinance in recent years. The licensing commission established at the time has yet to grant a single licence.
On 2 February, the governor of Tizi Ouzou province filed a case against the pastor of the church in Ait Atteli with the aim of closing the church.
No date for a court hearing has been scheduled yet.
Pray for Algerian church leaders to persevere in the face of increasing threats to churches. Ask that the campaign of church closures will cease, for those churches closed to be re-opened, and that Christians are able to live in peace and freedom.