Convenient COVID-19 Closures: The Contrivance of Scotland and Algeria to Close Churches

April 9, 2021

In an article published recently in Providence, Miles P. J. Windsor, Senior Manager for Strategy and Campaigns for RFI’s Middles East Action Team, sheds light on the severe religious freedom violations in Algeria that have emerged during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Windsor notes that the Algerian government initially closed all houses of worship but then allowed the reopening of mosques only. The Protestant Church of Algeria, comprising 47 congregations, is still barred from reopening. Profoundly misconstruing international human rights law, Algerian officials have cited the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as justifying these restrictions for reasons of “security, public order, and health.” Windsor then contrasts circumstances in Scotland with that of Algeria. Helping to put it on a different trajectory, Scotland’s courts struck down the discriminatory and unjust laws restricting religious practices that its government officials had enacted during the pandemic. 

Despite also witnessing examples of indifference and even antipathy toward religion in their own countries, Windsor urges the people of the United States and Europe to recognize the blatant religious discrimination in Algeria for what it is – a grave abuse of religious liberty. 

Windsor concludes: 

Christians around the world should hold in mind and in prayer their brothers and sisters in Algeria who were barred from meeting together to celebrate Easter. They should speak out on their behalf, and they  should give thanks for the freedom they themselves still experience.

Read the full article: Convenient COVID-19 Closures: The Contrivance of Scotland and Algeria to Close Churches.