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قديم 12-02-2008
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Urgent Action Algeria: Four Christians arrested for evangelizing

To all CSI National Affiliates
Please act immediately. Annette

Binz, Feb. 12, 2008

Urgent Action Algeria: Four Christians arrested for evangelizing

On February 5, 2008, four Evangelical missionaries were sentenced to jail terms in predominantly Muslim Algeria for allegedly attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity. Three of them were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 500 euros, the fourth to one year imprisonment and a 100 euro fine.

ms. – In mid-March 2006, official legislation was passed by the Algerian Parliament. It forbids the conversion of Muslims to another religion and demands state permission prior to the celebration of church services. At first, it was not sure how strictly the Government of President Bouteflika would apply the new regulations. However, in the light of the sentencing on Feb. 5, 2008 of four Algerian Christians for alleged evangelization among Muslims, the first Christians to be arrested on such charges since Muslim Algeria attained its independence from France in 1962, there is increasing concern that the Mid-march 2006 legislation may prove to be a watershed in the treatment of the Christian minority in predominantly Muslim Algeria.

On February 5, 2008, Mohamed Seghir Rachid Dob, Ramdani Hamid Dob, Ourahmane Youssef Dob and Dahmane Djalal Dob were arrested and accused of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. They denied having made active efforts to lure Muslims to Christianity; rather, they claimed that the Muslims had approached them out of their own free will. The first three Christians were sentenced by courts in Ain El Turck and Tiaret to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 500 euros, the fourth to one year imprisonment and a 100 euro fine.

Norbert Valley, a pastor well versed on the religious situation in Algeria and in close contact with CSI, appealed to our organization to act on an international level on behalf of the release of the four Algerian Christians.

Sources:

Fax of Pastor Norbert Valley to Annette Walder-Stückelberger, February 12, 2008 (enclosed)
Article written by Djamel B. and published on Feb. 2, 2008 in “Le Quotidien d’Oran (Algeria)” (enclosed)
http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Dail...006032108.html

__________________________________________________ ______________________
Please send a letter (suggestion enclosed) to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (E-mail: president@el-mouradia.dz; FAX: (00213 21609618 oder 00213 21691595) urging the immediate release of the four Algerian Christians! Send a copy to the Algerian representative in your country!
__________________________________________________ ______________________




His Excellency
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
President of the Republic
Presidency of the Republic
El Mouradia
Alger
ALGERIA

Your Excellency,

We are dismayed to hear about the arrest of the Algerian Christians Mohamed Seghir Rachid Dob, Ramdani Hamid Dob, Ourahmane Youssef Dob and Dahmane Djalal Dob on February 5, 2008. The first three were sentenced by courts in Ain El Turck and Tiaret to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 500 euros, the fourth to one year imprisonment and a 100 euro fine for alleged evangelization. The arrests come in the wake of legislation passed in your country in mid-March 2006 forbidding evangelization among Muslims.

The Government of Algeria, as a UN member, recognizes the validity of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, article 18 of which demands religious freedom. We therefore urgently ask you to secure the immediate release of these four Christians and a repeal of the March 2006 laws.

Yours sincerely and respectfully,

CHRISTIAN SOLIDARITY INTERNATIONAL



(Please write your name here)
Affiliate of Christian Solidarity International (CSI)



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