Europe

Algeria's Protestants Demand Return of Churches Used by Other Charities

Embattled Christians are seeking legal avenues to get their property back—but they haven't had much luck yet.

(WWM) The Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA) has reaffirmed its desire to regain control of several former churches used today for other purposes.

Christians are the distinct minority in Algeria, representing less than 1 percent of Algeria's 38 million inhabitants, and often face restrictions when seeking to build new churches.

The presence of Protestant Christians in Algeria dates back to the French colonial era, when a number of churches were built. However, after the country gained independence in 1962, many of these buildings were given to other purposes.

One example is the church of Mostaganem in the north-west of the country, which became a clinic in 1976. In January 2012, the clinic moved locations and the EPA sent one of its members to guard the premise in the hope of restoring the building to its former use. However, local authorities ordered the closure of the premises and the expulsion of EPA members, instead allowing a charity to move into the building.

The EPA ...

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