Pastor of Church Ordered to Close in Algeria Sentenced to Prison
Christian Headlines - TIZI-OUZOU, Algeria, June 7, 2021 (Morning Star News) – Less than a week after a court in Algeria ordered pastor Rachid Seighir’s church to close, a judge in a separate case gave him to a one-year suspended sentence and a fine for “shaking the faith” of Muslims with Christian literature at his bookstore, sources said.
Pastor Seighir’s Oratoire Church building in the city of Oran was one of three ordered to be sealed in western Algeria’s Oran Province on Wednesday (June 2). On Sunday (June 6) he and bookstore salesman Nouh Hamimi give a one-year suspended sentece and a fine of 200,000 dinars (US$1,494) in a ruling on their appeal of a prior sentence of two years in prison and a fine of 500,000 dinars (US$3,745).
The pastor was the manager of the now-closed bookstore in Oran, a coastal city 268 miles west of Algiers. The judgment in March read that he and Hamimi were condemned for “distributing publications or any other propaganda undermining the faith of a Muslim.”
Pastor Seighir has said the conviction was mere retaliation in a conflict over the bookstore going back to 2008, when he was convicted of the same charges and acquitted on appeal. The governor of Oran ordered the bookshop closed in 2017, but in April 2018, a court ruled the closure order was invalid due to procedural problems – though authorities continued to keep the bookshop closed, he said.
Sunday’s appeal ruling came after .....READ MORE
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