This farmer became a Christian in 2013 and his wife’s family discovered his conversion. Because of their threats, the farmer moved his family to another province where he began work as a labourer. Their new location was discovered in 2017. His wife was persuaded to accuse him of insulting Islam and threatening her.
Police searched his house and then charged him with blasphemy. His wife was granted a divorce ─ as Muslim women cannot be married to non-Muslims ─ and she was granted custody of their two daughters. While he is now acquitted of blasphemy charges, he continues to face hardship as a result of lost employment. His in-laws also continue to deny access to his children.
Algeria’s constitution provides for the freedom of worship but declares Islam to be the state religion. Insulting or offending Islam is considered a criminal offence. In addition to imprisonment, convicted Christians can also face hefty fines if convicted of blasphemy.
Sources: Middle East Concern. International Christian Concern
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