Persecution in Algeria

For more than 30 years Algeria has been ruled by a one-party socialist regime backed by a strong army. The prospect of a new government, while possible, would likely lead only to a new tyranny since the opposition consists primarily of Muslim revivalists. This polarized situation could lead to civil war. In recent years, Algerian Christians have suffered a reign of violence from the Islamic Salvation Front. Members of this Muslim rebel group have been known to march through town and slit the throats of anyone who has not lived up to their call to Islamic fundamentalism. Two-thirds of Algerians are so young that they have known nothing but the confusion of the socialist system. Algeria has very few Christians and the church is suffering discouragement. Social pressures often lead Christian girls to marry Muslims, and some believers withdraw from fellowship due to intimidation from family, friends, and Muslim extremists.