The United States has added Algeria’s name under special watch status into the list of religious freedom guarantees. As per the latest reports the addition is after the US observed that Algeria is violating the rights to follow any particular religion.
With this, the US has placed the North African state in the same list as other countries that are discouraging religious freedom followed by its citizens. The decision is no shocker for most of the experts in the matter who feel that Algeria has been growing intolerant towards religious freedom in recent years.
The announcement came on Thursday but the US secretary of state Antony Blinken had added Alegria’s name to the list on Wednesday itself. The US was planning to take steps against Alegria for a long time but a series of meetings led to delay but the country has finally taken a call on intolerance towards religious freedom.
Even last year, the 2020 Freedom of Religion report on Algeria claimed several violations and it even stated that they have evidence from which it can be gathered that there were various attempts to denounce freedom of religion violations in Algeria including the closure of numerous churches.
The reports claimed, “According to the letter, the government closed 13 churches and ordered seven more to close in 2018 because they lacked the required permit to hold non-Islamic worship services.”
The letter which was signed by many authorities had reportedly said that National Committee for Non-Muslim Religious Worship id does not issue permits to EPA-affiliated [the Protestant Church of Algeria] churches, which effectively created a one-sided religion bases structure in the nation. Other than Alegria, the US also added other countries to the special watch list including Comoros, Cuba, and Nicaragua.