After Christians in Algeria Prevented Church Closure, Authorities Seal it Shut
TIZI-OUZOU, Algeria, September 3, 2019 (Morning Star News) – After Christians fended off an attempt to close a church building in Algeria on Aug. 26, gendarmes arrived early Monday morning (Sept. 2) and sealed it shut, sources said.
Church leaders and their attorney had asserted that the order from the head of Bejaia Province to close the church in Ighzer Amokrane was illegal because it was not ordered by the proper governing body or a court, sources said.
Meeting with representatives of the legally recognized umbrella group of Protestant churches, the Protestant Church of Algeria (l’Église Protestante d’Algérie, or EPA) on Aug. 28, provincial authorities said they would consider the Christians’ arguments, advocacy group Middle East Concern (MEC) reported.
“No more was heard until the church was sealed on Sept. 2,” according to a MEC press statement.
Akbou gendarmerie forced the owner of the property to accompany them to the Prince of Peace church site in Ighzer Amokrane, 192 kilometers (119 miles) east of Algiers, at 6:45 a.m. in order to seal the building, church leader Idjouadiene Madjid told Morning Star News.
The gendarmerie chose that hour knowing that no one would prevent them from closing the building, Madjid said, adding that only afterward did church leaders and others discover the church door was sealed.
Both the Ighzer Amokrane church and another in Akbou on Aug. 10 had
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