Over the past weekend, police sealed off two churches in the north-eastern province of Kabylie, where much of the growth in the church is happening.
One church is in Ait-Mellikeche, a district of Tazmalt, in the Bejaia region (200km east of Algiers, the capital). It was established in 2005, and more than 200 attended its weekly service. It affiliated to the main umbrella organisation for Protestant churches, Eglises Protestantes d’Algerie (EPA), in 2007.
The notice to close the church was unexpected. According to one of the church leaders, “The officers came in on Friday morning. They simply sealed off the main entrance without a prior notice, as was the case before with other EPA-affiliated churches.”
Moreover, there is no notification explaining the reasons behind the closure.
On Monday, some leaders of the church went to police in Bejaia in an attempt to understand the authorities’ motives and to try to get them to lift the closure measure. “We were sent back empty-handed” one said.
Source: World Watch Monitor
- Commit to the Lord the church leaders. Pray for wisdom as they continue to lead their church members and as they deal with authorities.
- Pray the church closure may be used by the Lord to spur on the leaders and members in their faith and make their witness for the Gospel more open and courageous.
- Pray the Lord will provide them with continued opportunities to congregate to worship.