Belmehdi: The state protects places of worship from political and ideological influence – Al-Hiwar Algeria

The Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments, Youssef Belmehdi, confirmed that the state, through legislation, guarantees the protection of places of worship from any political or ideological influence.

Today, Thursday, Youssef Belmehdi responded, during his supervision of a symposium on “Religious Freedom: Protection and Guarantees,” to external criticism accusing Algeria of restricting religious freedoms and closing places of worship for non-Muslims, by saying that “the constitution guarantees religious freedom in Algeria, provided that its practice is within the framework of Respect for the law with a view to protecting places of worship from political or ideological influence.” And he added, “The constitution, which stipulates in its second article that Islam is the religion of the state, and also stipulates that the freedom to practice worship is guaranteed, provided that its practice is within the framework of respect for the law,” as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights stipulates in Article 19 of it that freedoms may be subjected to certain restrictions, provided that they are specified by the text of the law, and are necessary to respect public order, public health and morals, and to respect the rights or reputations of others.”

The minister explained that “opening places of worship, managing and organizing them, and practicing religious rites, whatever these rites may be, but all of this should be done in light of respect for the laws that ensure the safety and protection of those who go to places of worship.” Stressing that the churches that were closed “are not churches, but shops that did not comply with the rules and laws regulating building and construction, and did not obtain a license to practice this religious activity.”

The minister recalled Order No. 06-02 bis, which defines the conditions and rules for the practice of religious rites for non-Muslims, and Executive Decree No. 07-158, which “determines the composition of the National Committee for the Religious Rites of Non-Muslims and the modalities of its work, which meets periodically to study relevant issues and has taken care of most of the concerns presented in that matter”. Stressing that his ministry “always opens the doors of dialogue and constructive cooperation with all religious actors in Algeria and affirms that the Algerian state continues its determination and determination to continue efforts to combat hate speech and incitement and combat all forms of intolerance and discrimination,” adding that “Algeria is determined to proceed with this approach to guarantee freedoms Religiosity and the protection of religious structures and institutions for non-Muslims, just as it sponsors mosques and Quranic schools and what applies to them applies to these structures and facilities.

For his part, the Archbishop of Algeria, John Paul Fiesco, affirmed that “the Catholic Church in Algeria has chosen, since Algeria’s independence, to be a church of citizenship in a diverse and diverse society because the basis of our work is the ability to do good based on our faith and not motivated by evangelism.” While the pastor of the church stated. Anglicans in Algeria, Thomas Hugh, said that this church “was well received by the Algerian state, because we respect the religion of Algerians and their association with their religion.”

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