Algeria

World Watch ranking: 15
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Leader
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune

How many Christians?
144,000 (0.3%)

Main Threat
  • Islamic oppression

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How many Christians are there in Algeria?

Christians are a tiny minority in Algeria, comprising 144,000 (0.3 per cent) of the country’s total population of just over 46 million.

How are Christians persecuted in Algeria?

The major drivers of persecution in Algeria are society and extremist Islamic teachers who exert influence over state authorities. This means Christians experience persecution from their families, their communities and from the government. 

Most Algerian Christians are converts from Islam. They face harassment and discrimination in their daily lives, and their families and community may try to force them to continue to adhere to Islamic norms and practices. They also face pressure – from both the government and their surrounding communities – to renounce their faith in Jesus and return to Islam. Many choose to keep their faith secret.

Additionally, state pressure has increased on Protestant Christians to a level not seen in decades. Previously closed church buildings are still shut down, and many other churches were ordered to close. The government threatened to prosecute some church leaders if their churches continued to meet.

Algeria has laws restricting non-Muslim worship, including rules that prohibit anything that would ‘shake the faith of a Muslim’ or could be used as a ‘means of seduction intending to convert a Muslim to another religion’. These vague laws can be used to pressure Christians to keep their faith quiet and to beat down anything outside of the majority faith. 

What’s life like for Christians in Algeria?

The majority of Christians live in the north of Algeria – an environment that has allowed Christian community to develop, although pressure from both government and society remains strong. But in other parts of the country, especially in the south, circumstances are difficult for Christians, with a very low number of available churches. While violent Islamic militants don't have a wide support base among the general population, radical Muslim teachers exert an increasing influence over Algerian government and society. 

Is it getting harder to be a Christian in Algeria?

Algeria has risen four places on the World Watch List. There have been increases in pressure in national life and church life – but it was the rise in violence score which had most influence on the overall rise. This was mainly caused by an increased number of churches being closed or forced to cease all activity. At the same time, a greater number of houses and businesses of Christians were raided, with the increased pressure forcing many to relocate both inside and outside the country.

How can I help Christians in North Africa?

Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Algeria. Your prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.

Open Doors works with local partners and churches in North Africa to provide leadership and discipleship training, livelihood support, legal aid, trauma counselling, Bibles and pastoral care.

please pray

Dear Lord, we ask that You would be near to our brothers and sisters in Algeria. We pray for all converts. As they grow in the ways of Christ, keep them safe from harm and encourage them even as they endure pressure and discrimination. We pray especially for church leaders, God, as they see how many churches are closed, and may risk imprisonment just to continue to meet together. Give Your church in Algeria grace and comfort. Finally, we pray for the country's leaders, that You would soften their hearts and that they would allow Your people to worship freely and openly, without threat of arrest or harassment. Amen. 

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