Algeria

algeria-flag

Country:             Algeria                   Link to a map of Algeria

Continent:               Africa

Capital:                    Algiers

Population:            39,542,166 and is the 34th most populous country

Language:               Arabic (official), French, and Berber dialects

Religion:

  • Sunni Muslim 99% and other (Christian and Jewish) <1%
  • The Protestant Church of Algeria is in the World Communion of Reformed Churches

Terrain:                  Mostly high plateau & desert, some mountains, narrow, discontinuous coastal plain

Sports:

  • Soccer: The Algerian national football team played in several FIFA World Cup tournaments
  • Running: Algerian champions won several Olympic medals in the Marathon and middle distance running.

Animals:                  Wild boars, jackals and gazelles are common

Facts of interest:

  • The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria won its independence from France in 1962.
  • Albert Camus was Algerian born and a Nobel Prize winner in literature.
  • Algeria has a bicameral Parliament and a President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika who is in his fourth 5 year term.
  • Over 70% of the population live in cities.
  • Algeria’s major business is hydrocarbons, exporting oil and natural gas.
  • Algeria has several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Phoenician and Roman ruins, a limestone valley, and a Casbah.

Concerns:

  • Human Trafficking: Algeria is a transit country for men and women subjected to forced labor and prostitution.  Some Algerian officials deny that human trafficking is a problem.
  • Unemployment Rate: Unemployment for young men (18 to 24) is over 20%
  • Refugees: ~165,000 refugees from the Western Sahara (mostly Sahrawi), Cameroon, Mali, Syria, Palestine and others.  These refugees are relying on humanitarian assistance.  Algeria is providing medical care and education.  The UN is assisting with water, food, housing, etc.

Mission:

  • Algeria is working with UNESCO to improve education and cultural diversity
  • There are not many Christian-based missions to Algeria
  • There are several medical missions (non-religious based) to Algeria

 

Sources:  Presbyterianmission.org, BBC.com, CIA.gov, NATO.int, en.unesco.org, www.umc-europe.org, www.unhcr.org