Algeria - (Africa)
Information about Algeria
The Prot presence in the country was established in the middle of the 19th century, soon after Algeria became a French colony. There had been earlier efforts by RCath and Prot churches to minister to both prisoners and British people who lived in Algeria for reasons of health, but they were sporadic and primarily chap-laincies. The Bible Societies began activities in 1830. Around the turn of the century several Prot mission agencies started work in Algeria, some of British, others of French or Swiss origin. In the late ’30s a number of Prot churches and missionary agencies formed a consultative association which continued to exist for about a decade after independence. Numerically the most important of the Prot churches active in Algeria was the French Reformed Church (Eglise réformée de France– ERF), whose main purpose was the pastoral care of French settlers. Independence eventually led to an exodus of French people and, accordingly, to a reduction in church membership. Many churches and groups were “invited” to cease their activities. The remaining Christian community is predominantly RCath (priests and members of religious orders constituting a major part of this Catholic presence), but the proportions between RCath and Prot adherents remains about the same as in previous times.
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