Increased pressure on Christians in Algeria
Church leaders from Algeria, DMG friends, speak of a new wave of persecution of Christians in their country. In recent weeks several churches and meeting houses, theological training centers and a bookstore have been closed by the Algerian authorities. There has also been a disturbing increase in arrests of Christians.
The closure of churches and Christian institutions is justified by new state saftey regulations for buildings. In recent weeks, some registered Protestant churches have received visits from officials, the fire brigade and police. Other Christian communities are still waiting, with great concern, for the outcome of this review for them.
An Algerian church leader asks Christians in Germany for prayer:
Letter from an Algerian Church leader
Dear brothers and sisters,
The increasing pressure indicates a coordinated campaign by the authorities. The allegations leading to the church closures are unfounded, as if they want to weaken the church and end its effectiveness. A pastor of a recently closed church said, 'The church of Jesus is not made of walls and roofs, but of believers in Jesus, his living body.'
We praise and thank God even in this situation, because the Christians in Algeria stand together more than ever and there is a lot of prayer and fasting. We ask the Lord, to show us his strategy for this time of trial and a way forward. We thank God for his work in the lives of tens of thousands during the years of relative freedom. Today we worship our Lord in homes, churches and in the forest. May God, through his mighty Holy Spirit, reveal his new strategy to us for these times. Not only to survive, but to continue to glorify him and to reach out to the people of Algeria and beyond with the gospel.
Many communities have been affected by the recent incidents. It has come to court proceedings. We pray that the harassment will cease and the closed churches will be reopened to continue their ministry to the glory of God."
As DMG, we want also to pray for Algeria, with a heartfelt request to all readers to join us in praying for our brothers and sisters in the Maghreb. God can use the increasing pressure on the Christians there for his good purposes, of that we are firmly convinced. Prayer changes things!
Algeria, a muslim land, has a population of around 42 million. In the early 1980’s a spiritual awakening began, primarily among the Berber people. Thousands have since decided to follow Jesus, so many that the government made it possible for churches to register under the official United Algerian Protestant Church. This is the group of churches that is mostly affected by the current pressure. There are also many small house churches.