Algerian Court Dismisses Case against Christians Accused of 'Blasphemy'

Friday, October 31, 2008

Washington, D.C. (ICC) -- The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a blasphemy case brought against three Christians was dismissed on October 29, 2008 by a court in Algeria. The court is located in Ain Turk, a town 267 miles away from Algiers, the capital.

The three Christians were accused of "insulting Islam, its prophet and threatening the former professing Christian that complained against them." For more details on the case against them, see ICC's press release posted on October 23 at

As we indicated in our earlier press release, the case against the three Christian was brought by the public prosecutor with the help of Mr. Shamouma Al-Aid. Mr. Al-Aid claimed that he "converted" to Christianity and joined the church. It was during that period that he met the three defendants. Later he "reconverted" to Islam and accused the Christians of blaspheming Islam and its prophet Mohammed.

The Christians were given the right to bring charges against Mr. Al-Aid for accusing them falsely, but the three Christians declined, saying that they forgive him.

"A big thank you from us to all the bretheren who have praying for our court case," said Mr. Youssef Ourahmane, one of the defendants in the case in a statement he gave to ICC.

ICC's Regional Manger for Africa, Jonathan Racho, stated, "By dismissing the case against the three Christians, the Algerian government complied with its obligations under international human rights law to respect the freedom of religion. The Algerian officials should demonstrate the sincerity of their commitment to freedom of religion by dropping all charges against other Christians who have been brought before courts for practicing their faith. The international community should continue to hold Algeria accountable to respecting freedom of religion until Algeria changes its laws which are discriminatory against Christians."

ICC would like to thank all those who prayed for the three Christians. Please continue praying for Algerian Christians as they are still hampered by the laws of the country which prohibit them from freely worshipping and sharing their faith with Muslims. Please contact ICC for more information on how to help Christians in Algeria.