Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

 Algeria


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Background/History

Methodist missionaries from the United States began working in North Africa in 1908. In Algeria, part of the North Africa Annual Conference, the Methodist Church owned buildings, children’s homes, and clinics. In 1962, Algeria gained independence from France, and for the next 10 years, Christian churches struggled for survival, culminating in the deportation of half the Methodist missionaries in the country, the government’s confiscation of church property, and the closing of church-run children’s homes and boarding schools.

The surviving Methodist church united with most other Protestant denominations to create the Protestant Church of Algeria. Mission and ministries were focused on helping provide food, clothing, and medicine; providing assistance for immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa; and organizing ecumenical worship services and Bible studies. Despite government-mandated restrictions and limitations, there continue to be ecumenically-sponsored worship services, Bible studies, weddings, and baptisms.

Today, the Christian Church is a tiny minority in Algeria, where Islam is now the state religion. Structurally, the Methodist congregations in Algeria and the Methodist ministries in Tunisia are part of the Switzerland-France Annual Conference.

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