Latest news > Algerian authorities shut down third church in 2018

Algerian authorities shut down third church in 2018


17 July 2018

Police in the Algerian port city of Bejaia shut down a church on 11 July 2018, claiming that the congregation did not have official approval to meet. The church is the third to be shut by Algerian authorities so far in 2018, although the two churches closed in the north-western district of Oran in February were permitted to re-open last month.

Algerian authorities typically allow even non-registered Christian groups to meet without needing specific permission, but in recent months there has been a crackdown on unregistered church buildings
Algerian authorities typically allow even non-registered Christian groups to meet without needing specific permission, but in recent months there has been a crackdown on unregistered church buildings

Church buildings in Algeria are required to be registered, according to an ordinance introduced in 2006, which requires non-Muslim religious groups to be registered in order to conduct religious services in preapproved locations. In practice, authorities typically allow churches registered with official religious organisations and even non-registered Christian groups to meet without needing specific permission. But in recent months there has been a crackdown on a number of churches which authorities claim are unregistered, leading to several church closures, although some have been permitted to reopen.

The congregation in Bejaia, whose building has been sealed, are in the process of affiliating to the officially registered EPA (Algerian Protestant Church), an association which currently represents 45 churches.

From Barnabas Fund contacts