Persecution of Ex-Muslims (Algeria)
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Algerian Minister of Religion affirms that apostates from Islam should be killed
Barnabas Fund, May 18, 2001
Police publicly body-search and interrogate female ex-Muslim on trial for practicing Christianity
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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.
Compass Direct, June 2, 2008
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
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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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Compass Direct, May 10, 2008
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
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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.
Compass Direct, May 28, 2008
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."
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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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Compass Direct, May 23, 2008
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.
International Christian Concern, December 16, 2010