Islamic Algeria enforces worship restrictions

Christianity Today reports:

Most of the closures stem from enforcement of Ordinance 06-03, a law restricting non-Muslims from worshiping. The law passed in February 2006, but Algerian officials did not enforce it until this year. In addition to closing churches, authorities have arrested Protestants in western Algeria as they have traveled between cities or exited religious meetings. Authorities have also barred Catholics from ministry outside their church walls.


International Religious Freedom Report 2007
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

The Constitution declares Islam to be the state religion and prohibits institutions from engaging in behavior incompatible with Islamic morality. The Constitution does not provide explicitly for religious freedom; however, it provides that the people set up institutions whose aims include the protection of fundamental liberties of the citizen. Ordinance 06-03, which delimits the conditions and rules concerning the exercise of religious rites for non-Muslims, provides for the freedom to practice religious rites, on condition that the exercise thereof is in keeping with the ordinance, the Constitution, other laws and regulations, and that public order, morality, and the rights and basic freedoms of others are respected. The law limits the practice of faiths other than Islam, including prohibiting public assembly for the purpose of their practice. However, the Government allows registered non-Muslim religious groups, in limited instances, to conduct public religious services in preapproved locations. Religious practices that conflict with the Government’s interpretation of Shari’a (Islamic law) are prohibited.