by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – While Algeria’s government has now shut down all but a tiny handful of churches in the country, Algerian church leaders say the persecution is causing an increase in the number of new Christians, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
Algerian authorities shut down all churches during the pandemic and have refused to allow most of them to reopen, ICC reports. All but eleven churches in the country have now been sealed shut.
“After the Algerian civil war, many churches were forming from the war-torn civilization as a result of western missionary activities and indigenous Christian outreach programs,” ICC explains in its report.
“The now mostly Islamic government was not going to allow this, and then started to systematically close down churches to stop the recent rise in Christian population.”
In a separate website statement, the Open Doors persecution watchdog organization confirmed this year: “Algerian authorities are waging an ongoing, systematic campaign against the Protestant church.”
Nevertheless, in an interview with Mission Network News, Algerian pastors said the church has flourished since being driven underground.
“We are happy when we see persecution come to our country,” one pastor said. “People are thirsty to know more about the faith when they don’t see any hope.”
Muslim-majority Algeria ranks 22nd on the US Open Doors 2022 World Watch List of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
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