Missions, The Persecuted Church Across the World

Christians Sentenced and Heavily Fined in Algeria – March 17th 2021

Morning Star News, March 4, 2021

A court in Algeria has convicted and sentenced in absentia a pastor and another Christian to two years in prison and a heavy fine, accusing them of “shaking the faith” of Muslims with Christian literature at their bookstore.

Pastor Rachid Seighir and Nouh Hamimi learned by a written notification slipped under the door of their church building in Oran that they had been sentenced to prison and fined 500,000 Algerian dinars (US$3,745).

The pastor was the manager of the now-closed bookstore, where Hamimi worked as a salesman. The judgment reads that they are condemned for “distributing publications or any other propaganda undermining the faith of a Muslim.”

Pastor Seighir of Oratoire Church in Oran said the conviction was mere retaliation in a conflict over the bookstore going back to 2008, when he was convicted of the same charges and acquitted on appeal.

“This case is the logical continuation of the three judgments in our case that we have won against the Governor of Oran.  On April 12, 2018, the order was issued by judgment for the closure ordered by the governor to be effectively cancelled.  Unfortunately, the governor resisted and refused to comply.”

The Christians have appealed their conviction and sentence, he said.