An Algerian Christian has been released after he was arrested for having four New Testaments in his car. The authorities also accused him of possession of an unauthorised knife after finding a box of tools in his car that contained a small knife he used for repairs.
He was arrested in Mostaganem as he waited to take his children home from school on 30 November. He was held in custody until his hearing took place on 7 December. A local church leader said:
“They asked him about his faith and questioned him about the number of Christians living in Mostaganem. They wanted to know where and how they come together and more questions linked to his religion,” said the church leader, who went to Mostaganem to support the arrested Christian.
At the end of the hearing the public prosecutor said he would not accuse the man because of the New Testaments or for proselytising, and he was able to walk out of the court as a free man.
The church leader considers the arrest as an act of intimidation and harassment against his friend, who is known by the security services. “Certainly this was done on purpose to intimidate him,” he says. “When the policeman saw our brother, he said: ‘Ah, it’s you who distributes the Gospels in Mostaganem.’ This means that they know well what is going on and that this arrest is somehow planned.”
In March this year two Christians were arrested in Tiaret by the police after finding Christian literature in their vehicle. They were transferred to the police station for questioning and later released.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.