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Algerian Christians Continue to Worship Despite Government Order

Monday, June 13, 2011 | Tag Cloud

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News' International Correspondent

ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Worthy News)-- The High Commissioner of police in Bejaia ordered all Christian churches closed, including places of worship still under construction; if not, the commissioner threatened "severe consequences and punishments" would result.

The threat came as no surprise: since 2006, Christians have endured Ordinance 06-03, which regulates the worship of all non-Muslims by requiring them to get government permission to hold services.

"We were told we are not in compliance with the 2006 decree, but we have tried to comply," said EPA President Mustapha Krim. "We have spoken with the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Interior Ministry. We have gone round-and-round with them for years, but nothing gets done ... Apparently they want us to disappear from the map!"

Unable to register their churches, many Algerians now worship in house churches, or in the secluded countryside.

"Here we are Lord, to praise Thy name," sang the congregation of Pastor Nordin as he began to read Psalm 23.

"We worship out of conviction," said one of Nordin's parishoners. "We are not afraid, because we did nothing wrong. We were never forced to choose Jesus, but we did so voluntarily. Whatever the circumstances, we will continue to say: 'We are here to praise your name, Lord.'"

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Worthy Christian News » Christian Persecution » Christian Persecution - Africa » Algeria » Algerian Christians Continue to Worship Despite Government Order