Friday, July 4, 2008

Algerians convicted for Christianity

From Afrol News.

Two Algerian Christians were each handed a (British Pounds) £800 fine and six-month suspended jail terms yesterday, after Algerian court found them guilty of unlawfully trying to convert Muslims to their faith.

According to their lawyer, Khelloudja Khalfoun, convicts, Rachid Mohammed Seghir, 40, and Jammal Dahmani, 36, were sentenced for distributing documents that aimed at weakening the faith of Muslims.

The first respondent, Mr Seghir was also convicted of same offence, in a separate trial in June, in Tiaret town, where he received same sentence.

Ms Khalfoun told media after leaving courthouse in Tissemsilt, some 150 miles southwest of Algerian capital, Algiers that they were likely to appeal.

"The accusations were not proven, and the court's decision is not justified," she reportedly said.

The lawyer said her clients who are both Evangelical Protestants were first prosecuted in 2007, when extracts from Bible and other Christian books were found in one of their cars, during a routine check.

They were reportedly charged for trying to spread their faith among Muslims, as well as praying in a building that had not been granted a religious permit by authorities.

Only a tiny fraction of Algeria's 34 million people are not Muslim, with Christians and Jews comprising up to 1 percent of population, according to United States government estimates.

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