Algeria: Correction on church reopenings

M J

On 11 June 2018 we reported that three recently closed churches had been allowed to re-open in Oran Province. We have now received corrected information that only two churches were allowed to re-open. Churches in Ain Turk and Oran, closed in November 2017 and February 2018 respectively, can now resume their activities. The Protestant Church of Algeria (l’Église Protestante d’Algérie) reasonably assumed that the church in El Ayaida, also Oran Province, would also be allowed to open. But the EPA has now confirmed that the El Ayaida church remains closed.

Since November 2017, officials have been conducting church inspections, ostensibly to test compliance with safety regulations but in practice to also scrutinise licencing arrangements. At least ten churches have been closed or ordered to cease all activities.

Algerian Christians are grateful for the many who are standing with them in prayer. They ask for continued prayer that:
a. the two re-opened churches in Oran Province will face no further interference as they resume activities
b. other churches that were recently closed would soon be permitted to reopen, and that no further action will be taken against those churches still under investigation
c. Algerian Christians will know the Lord’s peace, wisdom and guidance in the face of ongoing pressures
d. church leaders will have discernment in all dealings with the authorities
e. the authorities will bring a complete end to the campaign to close churches and limit Christians’ freedom to worship
f. those responsible for the closure orders would know the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness and new life offered by Jesus

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