Algerian Christians request continued prayer for Foudhil Bahloul as he appeals a 1 December 2021 appeal court verdict sentencing him to a six months suspended prison sentence and a 100,000 DZD fine (approx US $750).
Foudhil, a Christian from a Muslim background, had appealed a July verdict for “collecting donations and accepting gifts without a license from the authorized departments.” He received a six months imprisonment sentence and a 100,000 DZD fine. The charges are based on the ordinance which regulates non-Muslim religious worship.
On 17 April he was arrested and his house searched. At a 30 June hearing he faced additional charges of distributing Bibles and printing brochures to distribute to Muslims. The verdict in July also referred to “suspicious evangelistic activities,” “poisoning the minds of youth” and “luring people to convert to Christianity.”
In a separate case, a local judge upheld an earlier one year prison sentence for failing to pay alimony.
Foudhil’s wife divorced him in 2017 because of his conversion and was awarded sole custody of their two young daughters. His father’s family destroyed his business and ostracized him. Although he is unemployed, he is obliged to pay alimony.
He was visiting a neighbouring country and, due to Covid19 border closures, he could not return in time to make the payment. Foudhil paid the amount when he returned, but the judge refused to consider the reason for the delay. He has appealed this verdict.
Christians in Algeria ask for continued prayer:
- for Foudhil to know the peace of Jesus and His encouragement while facing these continued difficulties
- that Foudhil will have adequate legal representation and for justice to be done
- for him to be acquitted on appeal and that he will face no future harassment and be able to live in freedom
- for the campaign to harass Christians and against the church in the country to come to an end