Thursday, August 4, 2011

Algeria legalizes the Protestant church

It is still a couple of years, the Algerian Minister of Religious Affairs, Buabdelá Gulamalá did not hesitate to declare that equate "evangelization and terrorism." But in late July, the Algerian Interior Ministry called the Shepherd Mustapha Krim, president of the Protestant Church of Algeria (IPA), to announce the recognition of the institution by the authorities.

"This is good news," said Krim days after a Protestant website. "In principle we can develop our activities as usual," he added. The only previously recognized Christian church in Algeria was Catholic, whose faithful are scarce, however, almost exclusively foreigners, mostly Europeans or students enrolled in universities in sub-Saharan Algeria.

Founded in 1974, the IPA has some thirty temples, mostly in the Kabylie region, and thousands of devotees, most of them Algerians who converted to Christianity. They are mainstream confessional after the Islam state religion. Algeria is the first country in the Maghreb where a native Christian church achieved official recognition.

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