Algeria has laws which are intended to prevent non-Muslims from worshiping in unregistered churches. However, the committee formed in 2006 which is supposed to register churches has never meet.
An Algerian judge has issued a two month suspended prison sentence and hefty fine of 100,000 dinars ($840 USD) on a Christian who was holding worship in his home. Just four days earlier, a separate judge had fined a landowner whose property was used by a church.
In the first case, the man’s sentence was significantly less than the prosecutor was intending. The man had invited a Christian couple to come and pray with him. Algeria has laws which are intended to prevent non-Muslims from worshiping in unregistered churches. However, the committee formed in 2006 which is supposed to register churches has never meet.
The second case is a continuation of a church closure incident that occurred in October 2018. This church is technically legal, but the authorities closed it. The congregation then began worshiping in a tent on the land. The judge fined the landowner 50,000 dinars, or $420 USD. The landowner is appealing the sentence on the basis that it is within his property rights to make his land available to the church.
A third incident is also in the early stages. On June 20, a pastor of a church in Makouda was summoned after local officials sealed his church. Prosecutors are seeking a fine of 500,000 dinars ($4,200 USD). This church is legally recognized and has over 300 members.
Algeria ranks 22 on Christian support organization Open Doors 2019 World Watch list of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.