‘US report is an incitement to disrupt public order in Algeria’

The Algerian Ministry of Religious Affairs and Endowments said that the US State Department’s report on religious freedom in Algeria for 2016 is inaccurate with some paragraphs which “have nothing to do with freedom of religion or freedom of worship but are directly related to disturbing public order, which national laws and regulations recognise and protect, as well as international covenants and treaties.”

In a statement on its website, Mohamed Issa’s ministry responded to the US report and expressed reservations about some of its content which claim Algerians hate non-Muslims in spite of the fact that authorities stress the importance of Christian and Jewish holy books.

In its first official comment on the report, the Ministry of Religious Affairs said that the information included in the report was “inaccurate in some instances” and regretted that it “did not obtain sufficient information during comprehensive assessment”.

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It added that it “will ensure a broader and accurate understanding of the reality of religious freedom in Algeria, and ensure the defence of Algeria’s interests and security in all areas, especially its intellectual and religious security.”

It went on to note “with satisfaction the positive points contained” in the report, including those regarding the country’s efforts to improve religious freedoms including its steps “to maintain a balance and the consolidation of human values ​​such as tolerance, coexistence and respect for others, and avoid a predilection towards radicalisation, violent extremism and terrorism.”

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