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Authorities close churches in Algeria

Following the closure of buildings in the northern regions of Akbou and Ighzer Amokrane on Sunday, MEC has reported that a total of eight churches have been sealed across the country over the past 21 months, seven of which are affiliated with the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA).

It comes after the launch of a government campaign in 2017 to close Christian places of worship and other Christian institutions.

The government requires buildings to obtain a license, permitting them to engage in non-Muslim religious worship, but has refused to issue any since the law was instated in 2006.

As a result, it has become standard practice for churches in the region to rent premises and inform local authorities of their activities.

Five churches have been sealed by authorities for not having licenses, following visits from building safety committees.

MEC have also reported that at least three churches have been ordered to cease all Christian activities.

Parishioners are concerned that their freedoms will continue to be threatened and MEC are urging believers to join them in praying for "the Lord's peace, wisdom and guidance" for EPA and church leaders and for an end to the persecution faced by the Christian community at the hands of the authorities.

They are also calling for the regulations governing non-Muslim worship to be amended to allow Christians to worship freely.

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