Christian suffer persecution through harsh laws in North African countries

Monday, March 29, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Religious minorities in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco suffer persecution through the application of “harsh and disproportionate” laws, International Christian Concern reports.

In its report, ICC said the four North African countries have criminal laws that are difficult to understand, are unevenly applied, and can be used to discriminate against Christians.

The laws are essentially safeguards of Islam: Morocco, Egypt, and Algeria have penal codes which feature blasphemy articles, ICC said. Tunisia does not have a specific legislation against insulting Islam, but it does have laws about morality that are used to protect Muslim beliefs. Christians in the region have faced jail terms, fines, and daily discrimination because of their faith.

In Tunisia, Christians have been subject to interrogation simply for having conversations about religion, ICC said. Foreign missionaries, too, have been arrested. According to a report by the Attalaki Association, a Tunisian interfaith organization that seeks to give voice to oppressed religious communities, Christians are considered second-class citizens in the North African country. Believers are exposed to hate speech, marginalization, and violence against their communities. marginalization, the Attalaki report said.

A decade after the Arab Spring, North African believers continue to be vulnerable because of religious intolerance.