Why were they closed in the first place? “Because they were considered outside a law governing religious practice.” Or, as this earlier JW story makes clear, they were outside a law which was meant to “restrict the practice of religions other than Islam, and reinforce Islam’s constitutional status as the state religion.”
“Algeria: Christian churches reopen,” from Adnkronos, April 23:
Algiers, 23 April (AKI) – Twenty-two Christian churches closed by Algerian authorities last year have reopened. According to a report in the Algerian daily, Ech-Chourouk citing an American Christian group called Open Doors, the protestant churches were among 26 churches shut down in 2006 because they were considered outside a law governing religious practice.
Based on the newspaper report published on Thursday, it seems that the 22 churches have obtained the permits required by Algerian authorities for Christian worship.
In recent months many politicians and Muslim religious leaders have criticised the activities of Christian missionaries in Algeria, stressing the opening of new evangelical churches, particularly in the area of Cabilia.
Several French and American religious groups have recently been accused of pressing Algerians to convert to Christianity in exchange for help to emigrate elsewhere.