Algeria: Christian convert from Islam imprisoned for three years on account of his faith

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – An Algerian Christian man has now been sentenced to three years in prison on account of his faith after having been brought back from Tunisia against his will in 2021, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.

Algerian Slimane Bouhaf applied for refugee status in Tunisia in 2020 after being sentenced to five years imprisonment in 2016 for “insulting Islam” by converting to Christianity, ICC said. Bouhaf was successful in his application for asylum, having been assisted and supported in it by the UN and the Tunisian Rights organization.

Despite his legal standing in Tunisia, however, Bouhaf was reportedly mysteriously “kidnapped” by Algerian secret police, with the apparent knowledge and approval of Tunisian authorities, ICC said. Having been brought back to his home country, he was charged with belonging to a “terrorist organization” and “undermining national unity.” He was sentenced to a prison term without parole and fined 100,000 Dinars.

“It is believed that the Tunisian authorities handed him over to Algeria, which does not set a high standard for the future of other refugees in Tunisia,” ICC noted in its report on the case.

“With Algeria consisting mainly of Sunni Muslims, it looks as though this could have influenced the official’s decision to disregard his refugee status when returning him to Tunisia. Algeria is not a place that welcomes Christianity,” ICC said.

Algeria ranks 22nd on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.

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