PRAYER POINTS

  • Pray that the terrorist groups Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb will be thrown into confusion, and will not be able to regroup, recruit, or have the capacity to be disruptive. Pray that the demonic forces that are using terrorists groups Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb like puppets will be toppled, and that the people will be set free to worship the Lord. Pray that their leaders will experience conversion to Christianity. (1 Timothy 2:1–4)
     
  • Pray for the Algerian government to continue to crack down against terrorists.
     
  • Authorities have closed churches and Christians have been charged for distributing Christian literature. Pray that the remaining Algerian churches will be able to stay open, preach the Word and many Algerians will be saved.
     
  • Algeria was a French colony for 134 years before it gained independence in 1962. In 1992, the army stopped a militant Islamic party from taking power after they won democratic elections. Since then a gruesome civil war has killed over 100,000 people. In the last couple of years there has been some hope of finding an end to the conflicts, but peace is still a long way off. No part of the country has been left untouched by the massacres and violence that have killed thousands. Pray for an end to the death and destruction.
     
  • The Berber peoples could make up as much as 40% of the population, but the Arab majority have tried to impose their culture on them and stopped them from using their own language. Thousands in the Kabyle region have become Christians and meet openly in their villages. Pray for these churches, that they would be protected from persecution and grow in their faith in God.
     
  • As many as 2.5 million Algerians have left their country and moved to Europe. Pray that there could be more opportunity for them to hear about Jesus.
     
  • The Algerian government has actively encouraged the development of an Islamic Arab state and many Muslim fundamentalists want to introduce stricter Islamic Shari’a laws. Pray for freedom of religion to be allowed in Algeria.

     

Find ministries and organizations working in Algeria at Joshua Project | Algeria.

 

 

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FACTS
Population: 36,467,000
Total People Groups: 42
Unreached People Groups: 36
Region: Middle East/North Africa
Official National Language: Arabic (Standard)
Secondary National Language: French
Religions: Islam 96.2%, Non-Religious 3.5%, Christianity 0.3%
Persecution Ranking: 23
Percentage of People in Poverty: 25%


LOCATION
Algeria, officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is the second largest country on the African continent. It is bordered by Tunisia in the northeast, Libya in the east, Niger in the southeast, Mali and Mauritania in the southwest, and Morocco, as well as a few kilometers of the Western Sahara in the west.

RELIGION
Muslims comprise 96.7% of Algeria’s population, while Christians make up 0.3%. The constitution declares Islam to be the state religion and prohibits institutions from engaging in behavior incompatible with Islamic morality.

CHALLENGES FOR CHRISTIANS
Algeria is ranked No. 31 among nations that are the worst persecutors of Christians based on Open Doors 2008 World Watch List. In 2006, the government confined non-Muslim worship to specific buildings approved by the state, increased requirements for the registration of religious organizations, increased punishments for anyone who proselytizes Muslims, and made regulations on the importation of non-Islamic religious texts more stringent through the adoption of a new ordinance.

Conversions from Islam to other religions are rare. Shari'a, as interpreted in the country, does not recognize conversion from Islam to any other religion. However, conversion is not illegal under civil law. Due to safety concerns and potential legal and social problems, Muslim converts practice their new faith clandestinely. Christians report that conversions to Christianity take place.

Meanwhile, Algeria recently began a crackdown on Christian missionary activity and conversions from Islam to Christianity. In the last year, courts have sentenced Tiaret resident Rachid Muhammad Essaghir three times—once for blasphemy and twice for evangelism, Compass Direct News reported. The convert from Islam is appealing his cases. No Christian has yet served jail time on religious charges.

The restrictions to religious freedom have coincided with a barrage of antagonistic articles in Arabic newspapers, enflaming tensions between Christians and Muslims. “This is the most pressure Christians have faced in Algeria,” said Farid Bouchama, an Algerian Christian broadcaster living in France. “Before it was discrimination from families or jobs, but this is the first organized pressure from the state.”

Government officials assert that they are simply guarding against religious extremism and that Christians are under the same restrictions that govern Muslim worship. But officials have also made public remarks equating Christian evangelism with terrorism and supporting the popular perception—fueled by the Arabic press—that Algeria's Islamic identity is under threat.


Sources: 24-7 Prayer, Operation World, Wikipedia, Country Reports on Terrorism 2007, International Religious Freedom Report 2007, Open Doors