HRWF (11.12.2020) – 28 institutions as well as scholars, religious leaders and human rights advocates sign an open letter to the President of Algeria.




Mr Abdelmadjid Tebboune


President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria

Copies to:


  • Kishan Manocha, Head, Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights


  • Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief


  • Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights


Re: Freedom of Religion or Belief in Algeria  


Dear Mr President,


We write as an informal group of organizations and individuals who are scholars, religious leaders and human rights advocates. We are from many faiths or acting in a secular capacity, representing a high degree of diversity. While there is very little we agree on theologically, or politically, we all agree on the importance of religious freedom for all faiths and none.


We write to you concerning what we perceive as violations of freedom of religion and belief of Christians in Algeria, including the closure of numerous churches and a failure to renew the registration of the association of Protestant Churches in Algeria (Église Protestante d’Algérie, EPA).


Since January 2018, 13 churches have been sealed and 7 more churches have been ordered to close (see list copied below). These churches are closed because they lack the required permit to hold non-Muslim religious worship services. However, the National Commission for Non-Muslim Religious Groups, which is responsible for issuing these permits, has so far failed to issue a single permit to EPA-affiliated churches.


This clearly shows that the Algerian authorities up to now have not taken genuine steps to improve freedom of religion and belief in Algeria. This despite many requests from the international community to do so.


We welcome the recent passing of the new constitution following the referendum of 1 November 2020. The new constitution clearly seeks to further strengthen human rights in Algeria, including the freedom of worship (Arts. 34 and 51 of the constitution).


We hope that this development will lead to an improvement of human rights and freedom of religion and belief in law and in practice.


We respectfully request your intervention to ensure that:


  • all the closed church buildings will be re-opened and Christians be allowed to have places of worship.
  • the Algerian authorities process the EPA’s registration application without delay, accept this application and provide official documentation to confirm the EPA’s registration as the representative association of all Protestant churches in Algeria
  • All warnings, closure orders and court cases against churches are withdrawn, and permission is granted to all churches to continue to use rented premises as places of worship.
  • the Commission for Non-Muslim Worship will function efficiently and fairly, that pending applications from churches are considered urgently, and that responses to future applications are made within the designated 60-day period.


We would welcome a response from you on these matters, and assurance that the Algerian Government respects the rights of its citizens to freedom of religion and belief.


Yours Sincerely,





Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK


CAP Freedom of Conscience


CESNUR – Center for Studies on New Religions


Charter For Compassion – Yemen


Christian Freedom International


Christian Solidarity Worldwide – UK


Church of Scientology National Affairs Office Washington, DC


Coptic Solidarity


Danish European Mission


European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom


European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights


Fundacion para la Mejora de la Vida, la Cultura y la Sociedad


Gerard Noodt Foundation for Freedom of Religion or Belief


HRWF – Human Rights Without Frontiers Int’l


Institute on Religion and Democracy


Jubilee Campaign


Middle East Concern


Oasis Network for Community Transformation


Open Doors International


ORLIR – International Observatory of Religious Liberty of Refugees


Religious Freedom Coalition


Religious Freedom Institute


Set My People Free


Stefanus Alliance


United Macedonian Diaspora


Universal Peace Federation Netherlands


United Religions Initiative URI – Yemen


White Mountain Research Group 




Naseer Ahmed


French Ahmadiyya Association


Eileen Barker OBE

Professor Emeritus

London School of Economics


Rev. Brian Britton

Harvest Family Network


  1. Todd Chasteen

Vice President of Public Policy and General Counsel

Samaritan’s Purse


The Most Reverend Joseph K. Grieboski

Secretary for Ecumenical, Interfaith, and Global Engagement

Vicar Apostolic, Holy Land and Appointed Territories

Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of the Eastern USA

Independent Old Catholic Church


Gail Hambleton

Senior Program Specialist

Values-based Peacebuilding

Global Peace Foundation, International


Dr. Muhammad Ilyas

Chairman IDRAC

International Dialogue Research & Awareness Centre


Jonathan Imbody




Paul Marshall Wilson


Baylor University


Faith J. H. McDonnell


GAFCON Suffering Church Network & Anglican Persecuted Church Network


Scott Morgan


Red Eagle Enterprises


William J. Murray


Religious Freedom Coalition


Bachittar Singh Ughrha

Founder and President

Center for defence of human rights

Founder and Vice President

Gurdwara (Sikh temple) Geneva, Switzerland


Martin Weightman


All Faiths Network


Frans de Wolff


Dutch Network for Interfaith Dialogue

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