Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Conversion in Algeria

this is worth noting in the wake of the Abd ar-Rahman affair:
"Algeria, determined to keep religion and politics separate after years of Islamist violence, has passed a law forbidding non-Muslims from seeking to convert Muslims to another religion, an official said yesterday.

"Mohamed Aissa, director of the ministry of religious affairs, told state radio the measure passed on March 20 was prompted by the activities of Christian evangelical sects, particularly in the restive ethnic Berber Kabylie region.

"'We found out that in addition to Islam, Christianity has also been used as a tool to destabilise the country during the last bloody decade,' said Aissa. 'Ten (Christian) sects are active in Algeria. They do not respect our laws. And some of these sects called for revolt in the Kabylie region,' he said."

I know almost nothing about Algeria, so I have no idea if conversion has actually been an issue in Algeria, or if this is just the government seeking to placate Islamist opinion in the country.


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