Voice of the Martyrs, country to pray for this week: Algeria

Algeria experienced civil war from 1991 to 2002, and the country still suffers from terrorism as a result of the conflict. More than 160,000 people were killed in the fighting between Islamic militants and the government. Ethnic minority Berbers in the country have long pushed for autonomy. Thirty-five out of the 41 people groups in the country are considered unreached by the gospel.

Category: Restricted Nation
Religion: Muslim 97.3%, Christian 0.3%
Ideology: Islam
Head of State: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

VOM contacts report that Muslim-background believers number about 200,000. A law passed on Feb. 28, 2006, defining “the conditions and rules for the exercise of religious worship other than Islam” prohibits house churches from meeting without registration. In 2008, persecution intensified as the government sought to enforce the 2006 law by closing down churches. Last year, a governor in Bejaia ordered seven Protestant churches operating without a permit to close. Instead, the churches defied the order and kept meeting. It remains to be seen how the government will ultimately react. In May 2011, a judge sentenced a Muslim-background Christian convert to five years in prison, far beyond the two years the prosecutor had recommended, after authorities discovered hundreds of pieces of Christian literature in his home. It is illegal to distribute Christian literature.

Daily Prayer Request:
January 8:  Pray for Pastor Hakim and others sharing the gospel in Algeria.
January 9:  Pray for the Tizi Ouzou region, the center of the Algerian church movement.
January 10:  Pray for new believers. A "Voice of the Martyr"safe house provides refuge for those in danger.
January 11:  Pray for church growth and for more workers in southern Algeria.
January 12:  Pray for "Amira" and other Christians that "Voice of the Martyr" assists financially.
January 13:  Pray for Christians who meet in the countryside to avoid government attention.
January 14:  Pray for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.