Algeria: No reciprocity

Source: FSSPX News

As reported by the Algerian daily L’Expression, a conference on the theme of religion organized by the government was held in Algiers on February 10, 2010. The Most Reverend Ghaleb Bader, Archbishop of Algiers, in particular, raised the question: since "Muslims welcome Christians who convert to Islam, why shouldn’t Christians do the same?” The Algerian daily noted in its online edition of February 11 that "everyone took exception to his remarks. Professor Mustapha Cherif, who attended the conference in his capacity as an Islamic scholar, was astonished by this request for reciprocity." In his speech, Archbishop Bader was no doubt taking aim at the 2006 law regulating the practice of religion. Although he noted certain positive points, such as the recognition of the existence of religions other than Islam, the Catholic prelate regretted that Christians are scattered throughout many parts of the country where they do not necessarily have any churches, for lack of construction permits. The Minister of Religious Affairs, Wakfs Bouabdallah Ghlamallah responded that the presence of religious minorities in Algeria posed the risk of becoming "a pretext for foreign powers to interfere in the internal affairs of the country under the guise of protecting minority rights". (Source:

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