Algeria

Islam (Sunnis) 97.9%, non-denominational (1.8%), Christians and Jews 0.3%. (PEW, 2010)

The constitution declares Islam a state religion and obliges state institutions to conform to Islam. The law grants all people the right to practice their religion, but only as long as they respect public order and rules. Insults of any religion are punishable. The proselytizing of Muslims by non-Muslims is a crime.

By a constitutional amendment (in February 2016), a maximum fine of one million dinars (€ 7,400) and a five-year prison sentence were provided for anyone who uses “compulsion or persuasion to convert a Muslim to another religion; or by using facilities of teaching, education, health, society, culture, education … or any financial means for that purpose.” Making, storing or distributing printed documents or audiovisual materials with the intention of: Shaking Muslim faith is also illegal and punishable by the same penalties.

In 2016 the police arrested 83 Ahmadi Muslims for illicit religious activities (public prayer and religious books printing). In July, a court sentenced a Christian, Samir Chamek, to five years imprisonment for a Facebook posting made in 2015, when the court stated that it insulted the Prophet Muhammad.

What is used for other religions is especially true for atheists.

In general, people who practice a belief other than Islam enjoy tolerance within society. Citizens who renounce Islam are, however, ostracized by their families and shunned by their neighbors.

Those who “give up” Islam can also be imprisoned and punished. While the government generally does not engage in such disputes, converts and atheists are at risk of attack by radical extremists.

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