Algerian pastor convicted of proselytism

Algerian pastor convicted of proselytism

FRENDA, Algeria — A judge sentenced a pastor to a fine and a suspended prison sentence under a law that prohibits causing Muslims to doubt their religion.

The March 8 conviction is the latest in a rash of persecution incidents in Algeria.

Pastor Nordine B. was ordered to pay a fine of more than $800 and received a three-month suspended prison sentence, the pastor confirmed. Prosecutors had sought a six-month prison sentence and a fine of $434.

Sources said the only evidence police presented was the fact that he was carrying Christian books. Christian leaders say the charge was unconstitutional, citing the Algerian constitution’s Article 42, which guarantees freedom of belief, opinion and worship.

Algeria ranked 42nd on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. (MS)