Unfortunately, Christian persecution is widespread all over the world. In Algeria, following the multiple violations that the Algerian government carries out against Christians living in the country, a parliamentary question was addressed to the European Commission, in which the Spanish MEP Maria Soraya Rodriguez Ramos denounced human rights violations against religious minorities in Algeria.
The application was made following the resolution of the European Commission adopted on 28 November 2019.
The 2019 resolution revealed that Algerian authorities have closed several churches since January 2018, most belonging to the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA), the central organization of Protestant churches in Algeria.
The resolution called for “the end of violations of freedom of worship” and urged the government to reopen worship places so that religious communities can resume their duties.
In 2019 Algeria intensified repression against religious minorities by raiding and closing three large churches and numerous Christians were arrested for organizing sit-ins in protest over these actions.
The MEP’s request for answers comes after several international organizations have also denounced the lack of religious freedom in Algeria, including the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (Uscirf).
Uscirf itself, in its 2020 report, put Algeria on the special checklist due to the persecution of religious minorities.
The Algerian government arbitrarily asked all church religious activities to be ended accusing them of violating security rules and operating illegally.
Protestant churches have no possibility of officially registering as the Algerian government doesn’t allow it, although there is an association law in force since 2012.
In addition to official and governmental institutions, several NGO’s have also denounced the violations of the Algerian regime against the human rights of religious minorities.
The International Christian Concern (ICC), a Washington, DC-based non-governmental organization, praised the “strong stance” demonstrated by the USCIRF in support of religious minorities in Algeria, saying it “sends a strong message to the Algerian government”, which indicates that his systematic disregard for religious freedoms is no longer acceptable”.
For Steadfast, respect for religious minorities is fundamental in democracy and no form of persecution must be affirmed.
EMMANUELE DI LEO