12.1 C
Saturday, September 23, 2023
    HomeNewsAfricaReligious Freedom: U.S. Decries Algeria’s Continuing Harassment, Persecution and Violations

    Religious Freedom: U.S. Decries Algeria’s Continuing Harassment, Persecution and Violations

    - Advertisement -
    Religious Freedom: U.S. Decries Algeria’s Continuing Harassment, Persecution and Violations

     North Africa PostMay 16, 2023 5:13 pm

    The United States has denounced the continuing violations of religious freedom in Algeria wherein non-Muslim minority groups and Shiites suffer unabated harassment, persecution and growing restrictions.

    In its 2022 International Religious Freedom Report, the State Department says the Algerian authorities continued in 2022 to arrest, jail, and fine Christians on charges of proselytizing, citing in this regard several cases such as the case of Christian convert Slimane Bouhafs who was charged with a variety of offenses, including blasphemy and terrorism crimes.

    On December 16, a court in Algiers sentenced Bouhafs to three years in prison and a fine of $733 for “belonging to a terrorist organization,” alleging he was a member of the Self-Determination of Kabylie (MAK) group, which the government designated a terrorist organization in 2021.

    Several human rights organizations reported Bouhafs had been forcibly returned from Tunisia in 2021 where he had refugee status. At year’s end, Bouhafs remained in prison and faced additional charges, including of committing offenses against the Prophet Muhammad.

    In June, the Algeria government charged a group of Shiite Muslims with “participating in an unauthorized group” and “denigrating Islam”. A group member said authorities had been “intimidating and harassing” the group since April, interrogating them about their religious beliefs, and confiscating their passports, cell phones, and laptops.

    In October, Ahmadi Muslim community leaders said several members of their group were charged with blasphemy, holding unauthorized gatherings, and illegal fundraising.

    In March, a court sentenced the president of the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA), Pastor Salaheddine Chalah, to 18 months in prison for proselytizing on social media, practicing non-Muslim religious rites without authorization, and “inciting an unarmed gathering,” the charge for unauthorized protests.

    Several religious groups, including the Ahmadi Muslim community and the EPA, said the government had yet to accept their registration applications. Both groups have made several attempts to register since 2012.

    Furthermore, Catholic, Anglican, and Methodist groups said the Algeria authorities did not respond to their requests for foreign religious workers’ visas, resulting in de facto visa refusals.

    Some Christian leaders and congregants said non-Muslims faced social pressure for practicing a non-Muslim faith. Local media outlets criticize Ahmadi Islam and Shia Islam as “sects” or “deviations” from Islam or as “foreign” and demonstrate a bias against these groups.

    The U.S. report voiced serious concern over the violations of religious freedom in Algeria, calling on the Algerian regime to accept registration applications of minority religious communities, reopen closed churches and release all those imprisoned for practicing their faith.

    For these reasons, the State Department continues to place Algeria on its Special Watch List (SWL) on recommendation by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for ongoing repression of religious minorities.

    The USCIRF says the Algerian government has systematically cracked down on the Evangelical Protestant community, in particular, through a string of church closures and raids, including two on the largest Protestant churches in the country.

    The U.S. Independent and bipartisan body deplores the deteriorating religious freedom conditions in Algeria with the government increasingly enforcing blasphemy laws and restricting worship. These laws particularly impact religious minorities, such as Protestant Christians and Ahmadiyya Muslims.

    The imprisonment of Algerians on charges of blasphemy and proselytization and the discriminatory implementation of legal provisions regulating worship constitute violations of the freedom of religion or belief as protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

    source https://northafricapost.com/67694-religious-freedom-u-s-decries-algerias-continuing-harassment-persecution-and-violations.html

    - Advertisement -


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Keep exploring...

    Complete Guide to Eid Prayer: Rituals, Cleanliness, Process, and More

    Eid Prayer is a significant festival in Islam, marking the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. One of the most important aspects...

    Eid Al-Fitr: A Comprehensive Guide to Recommended Acts on the Day of Celebration

    Eid Al-Fitr, often referred to as "Eid," is one of the most significant and joyous festivals in the Islamic calendar. It marks the end...

    Related Stories

    Iran congratulates Saudi Arabia on National Day – Middle East Monitor

    Iran has greeted Saudi Arabia on the kingdom’s National Day amid a rapprochement between...

    Remembering Saudi National Day – Middle East Monitor

    Unless otherwise stated in the article above, this work by Middle East Monitor is...

    The Misunderstood Reason Millions of Americans Stopped Going to Church

    The defining problem driving people out is … just how American life works in...

    Libya flood disaster displaced over 43,000 people — IOM

    By AFP – Sep 22,2023 – Last updated at Sep 23,2023 A young flood survivor receives a...

    Mideast faces prospect of ‘environmental catastrophe’: Iraqi PM

    Prime Minister of Iraq Mohammed Shia Al Sudani addresses the 78th Session of the...

    Muslims and Jews must join forces to fight climate change

    RABBI MARC SCHNEIER September 22, 2023  Follow We have just entered the month-long season of the Jewish...

    Repentant Boko Haram member kills wife over alleged infidelity

    By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri A repentant Boko Haram member, Musa Dauda has killed his wife...

    Muslim girl turned away from school in France for wearing hijab files complaint with UN – Middle East Monitor

    A Muslim student, who had been turned away from school for wearing a kimono,...

    Explore More Articles

    Welcome to the enlightening realm of our Islamic Articles Page – a digital sanctuary where knowledge, spirituality, and the rich tapestry of Islamic culture converge. In an era where information flows ceaselessly and the world seems to spin faster each day, our platform stands as a steadfast beacon of wisdom and reflection.