Persecution of Ex-Muslims (Algeria)

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Algerian Minister of Religion affirms that apostates from Islam should be killed[edit]

The Algerian Minister of Religion recently affirmed that apostates from Islam should be killed when questioned about Muslims becoming Christians, according to Islamic Shari'ah law. However, he went on to say that Christians in Algeria should be treated well because Muslims in Europe are treated well.
Apostates Must Be Killed
Barnabas Fund, May 18, 2001

Police publicly body-search and interrogate female ex-Muslim on trial for practicing Christianity[edit]

For two hours yesterday on a street in Tiaret in western Algeria, police body-searched and interrogated a former Muslim on trial for practicing Christianity, a Protestant leader said. The incident occurred a day after Algeria’s top Islamic authority denied that the woman’s case violated religious freedom and claimed evangelization was “a new form of colonization.”
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After examining the contents of the Christian woman’s handbag, police officers body-searched her and then proceeded to interrogate her.
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The Christian convert is on trial for “practicing non-Muslim religious rites without a license,” a charge that her lawyer says does not exist in Algerian criminal law. Police pulled her off an intercity bus outside of Tiaret on March 29 after finding several Bibles and books on Christianity in her bag.

Kouider said they were for personal use, but a Tiaret state prosecutor has claimed that she was distributing the literature to proselytize Muslims, outlawed under a 2006 religion law

Christian detained five days for carrying a Bible and personal Bible study books was handed a 300-euro (US$460) fine and a one-year suspended prison sentence[edit]

An Algerian Christian detained five days for carrying a Bible and personal Bible study books was handed a 300-euro (US$460) fine and a one-year suspended prison sentence last week, an Algerian church leader said. Last Tuesday (April 29) a court in Djilfa, 150 miles south of Algiers, charged the 33-year-old Muslim convert to Christianity with “printing, storing and distributing” illegal religious material. A written copy of the verdict has yet to be issued.
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The conviction is the latest in a wave of detentions and court cases against Algeria’s Protestants and Catholics. Since January police and provincial officials have ordered the closure of up to half of the country’s 50 estimated Protestant congregations. Officials in several instances have cited a February 2006 law governing the worship of non-Muslims. Clarified by subsequent decrees in 2007, the law restricts most religious meetings to approved places of worship and forbids any attempt to “shake the faith of a Muslim.”
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A Christian from Tiaret told Compass that Djilfa police appeared to have previous knowledge of the Protestant’s Christian connections. Officers refused to let the convert call friends to let them know of his detention, naming a church member in Tiaret whom they claimed he would contact. “We will call your family for you,” the officials said, according to the Christian source from Tiaret. According to one Algerian human rights lawyer, police violated the convert’s rights by refusing him the telephone call.

State prosecutor demands two-year jail sentences and large $8145 fines for six Muslim converts to Christianity on trial for proselytism and holding an illegal religious gathering[edit]

A state prosecutor in western Algeria demanded two-year jail sentences and large fines for six Muslim converts to Christianity yesterday in one of two trials against Christians that have caught the north African nation’s attention in the past week. The same court in Tiaret city yesterday delayed the verdict of a Christian woman facing three years in prison for “practicing non-Muslim religious rites without a license.”
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Detained on May 9 while leaving a prayer meeting at the home of one of the men in Tiaret, the six converts were held for 24 hours and initially charged with “distributing documents to shake the faith of Muslims.” At yesterday’s hearing, the state prosecutor raised a second charge of illegally practicing non-Muslim worship and demanded two-year jail sentences and 500,000 dinar (US$8,145) fines for each suspect.

Algerian Court pressures woman to renounce her new Christian faith. "You reinstate Islam and I will [drop the case]; if you persist in sin you will undergo the lightning of justice."[edit]

An Algerian public prosecutor has demanded a three-year sentence for a convert to Christianity in western Algeria for practicing her faith “without license.”
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“You reinstate Islam and I will [drop the case]; if you persist in sin you will undergo the lightning of justice,” the prosecutor told her, according to French daily Le Figaro. Algerian daily el Watan reported on Wednesday (May 21) that Kouider “refused to give up her new faith under the pressure,” prompting the prosecutor to bring charges against her. She is accused of “practicing non-Muslims religious rites without a license,” according to a copy of the written charge obtained by Compass. “It’s as if they are saying that if someone becomes a Christian they have to get permission,” said one Christian from Tiaret.

A Tiaret city court judge reportedly mocked Kouider for her conversion four years prior. “The priests made you drink the water which leads to paradise?” asked the judge, according to a May 20 article in French daily Le Figaro. At the hearing, Kouider’s defense lawyer told the court that the charge against her client did not exist in the law.

“There is no trace of a possible reason to try individuals for the ‘practice of non-Muslim worship without authorization,’” Khelloudja Khalfoun said, according to el Watan.
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A total of 10 Christians visiting or residing in Tiaret have been detained or tried on religious grounds since January. More than half of the country’s 50 Protestant churches, many of which meet in homes, have been ordered to close down.

Muslim converts to Christianity targeted. Four Algerian Christians received jail terms for opening a place of worship without government authorization[edit]

Four Algerian Christians received jail terms for opening a place of worship without government authorization. The verdict is the latest in a series of cases targeting Muslim converts to Christianity.

Pastor Mahmoud Yahou and three elders, Abdenour Raid, Nacer Mokrani and Idir Haoudj, were prevented from continuing worship services when Salafist jihadists accused them of conducting ‘illegal’ Christian activity. In response, Algerian security forces demanded that the church, located in Larbaa Nath Irathen, a village in the Kabylie region, halt all worship services and that the four leaders appear in court.

On December 12, the three Christian elders were sentenced to two months imprisonment while Pastor Yahou was sentenced to three months and a fine of 10,000 dinars (equivalent to 137.00 USD) for housing a foreigner without reporting his visit to local authorities and for hosting worship services in an unregistered church building. The Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA) is expected to appeal the sentence in ten days.
Four Algerian Christians Sentenced to Prison
International Christian Concern, December 16, 2010