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Resignation of Algerian President Questions the Future of Christians

Algeria signboard

After twenty years as President of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika agreed on Monday to step down, yielding to weeks of mass demonstrations demanding his resignation and the end of the ailing system he led. Algerian Christians pray that the tensions caused by the postponement of the presidential election will result in a peaceful political transition.

Christians have denounced the intensification of the persecution against religious minorities in Algeria since 2006, when the government passed a law to regulate the codes and practices of any religious groups, except for Islam, which is the official religion of the state.

As a new election dawns, Christians are hopeful for a repeal of the 2006 laws. The laws prohibit any type of event that takes place in spaces that do not have that permission. Additionally, it punishes evangelization, or any activity that tries to persuade Muslims to change their religion. In recent years, the church in Algeria has faced the closure of premises and the interrogation of pastors and the detention of members.

As the situation in Algeria is fluid, the future of the state is anything but clear. With the resignation of Bouteflika comes a political vacuum in the government, that can be easily manipulated.

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