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Algeria: Religious Faith

Volume 705: debated on Tuesday 25 November 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations they will make to the Government of Algeria about the introduction of Ordinance 06–03, which limits the practice of faiths other than Islam, including public assembly for the purpose of worship and under which half the country's Protestant churches have received verbal or written orders to close. [HL6317]

My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary and I have not had any discussions with our Algerian counterparts on this issue.

My honourable friend the Minister of State (Bill Rammell) is due to visit Algeria on 24-25 November to participate in the third round of bilateral political dialogue. He hopes to raise this issue with his Algerian counterparts.

Our ambassador raised this issue with the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 23 July 2008. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials have also held a series of meetings with a range of non-governmental organisations concerned about restrictions on the freedom of religion and belief across the world, including Algeria.

We continue to monitor the enforcement of religious laws in Algeria, raising individual cases when it is appropriate.