Algerian authorities seal village church
Barnabas Fund, 13 November 2018
Authorities in the village of Azaghar, south-east of Algiers, sealed a church building in October, falsely claiming that it failed to comply with health and safety regulations.
It was sealed despite the 300-strong congregation installing fire exits and fire extinguishers in response to an earlier request. The church has a powerful ministry to local Muslims.
In practice, authorities have typically allowed churches registered with official religious organisations and even non-registered Christian groups to meet without needing specific permission. However, some churches have been closed in 2018, for alleged breaches of health and safety, or because authorities claim they are not properly registered.
The church in Azaghar is thought to be the fourth Christian place of worship shut down in 2018.