Some five thousand non-Muslim citizens live in Algeria, according to the International Religious Freedom Report 2007 released by the US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor on September 14, according to the Algerian Echouroukonline.
"There are three thousand members of evangelical churches in Algeria (mostly in the Kabylia region) and three hundred Catholics, said the report. As for Jews, there was no active Jewish community although a very small number of Jews continue to live in Algiers.
"According to the report, Christians concentrated in the large cities of Algiers, Annaba, and Oran in the mid-1990s for security reasons. Evangelical proselytizing led to increases in the size of the Christian community in the eastern Berber region of Kabylia.
"Stringent measures have been taken by the Algerian government to punish any one who incites, constrains, or utilizes means of seduction tending to convert a Muslim to another religion, according to the same report.
"The report pointed out the Ordinance 06-03 that gives the Government the power to regulate the locations of all non-Muslim worship and monitor participation. It enables the Government to shut down informal Christian religious services that take place in private homes or in secluded outdoor settings.
"On the other hand, the Government argues that the new requirement that non-Muslim religious services be conducted only in registered facilities puts the treatment of all religions on an equal basis before the law, said the report.
"Although Ordinance 06-03 marked a step backward for religious freedom there were no reported instances of the law's implementation."
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