Algeria Designated by US Department of State for Religious Freedom Violations

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read
Religious Freedom

The United States Department of State has identified Algeria as one of the countries “engaging and tolerating severe violations of religious freedom.” Secretary Antony Blinken announced the inclusion of Algeria in the “Special Watch List” alongside Azerbaijan, the Central African Republic, Comors, and Vietnam, emphasizing the need for these nations to address issues such as attacks on religious minorities, assaults on places of worship, communal violence, and prolonged imprisonment for peaceful expression.

The announcement, made on January 4, underscores the global challenges to religious freedom, described by Blinken as structural, systemic, and deeply entrenched.

This is not the first time Algeria has been listed among countries committing or tolerating violations of religious freedom. In December 2022, the US State Department similarly placed Algeria on its “Special Watch” list, citing serious infringements against freedom of religion. The 2020 Freedom of Religion report specifically pointed to the closure of several churches in Algeria.

In January of the previous year, the non-governmental organization Open Doors released a comprehensive report on the treatment of Christians in Algeria. The report highlighted concerns about the limitations on how Christians can practice their faith, citing harassment and discrimination as significant challenges faced by the Christian community. Additionally, the report noted difficulties for Christians in securing employment or maintaining professional positions in Algeria.

The recurring inclusion of Algeria in lists addressing religious freedom violations emphasizes the ongoing challenges faced by religious minorities in the country. The international community, through such designations, calls for urgent attention to safeguarding religious freedoms and promoting tolerance within Algeria.

Soukaina Sghir

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