I wish I had fifty bucks for every time a Muslim told me they don’t force their religion on anyone. I could be living in a nice beachfront condo by now. This article found through the important site, The Religion Of Peace
Two Algerian Christians have been tried for breaking Ramadan fasting rules, with hundreds of people protesting outside the courtroom against judicial authorities.
Hocine Hocini, 44, and Salem Fellak, 34, were arrested on August 13 on the building site where they worked in the northern region of Kabylie after they were spotted eating lunch.
The pair admit to eating but insist it happened in a discreet place.
Muslims are not allowed to eat during daylight hours during the Ramadan holy month.
In Algeria breaking the fast can be punished with three months in jail.
“I am optimistic,” Hocini, a Protestant with a one-month-old daughter, said as he left the courtroom in Ain el Hammam after the hearing.
“I have no regrets, I’m Christian and assume my responsibilities. We are innocent, and we haven’t done any harm to anyone.
“We are Christians and we have not eaten in a public place.”
The verdict is due on October 5.
The prosecutor called for the full three months in prison for both men.
Hundreds of people supporting the two accused gathered outside the court at Ain el Hammam and shouted slogans against the legal system.
Defence lawyer Mokrane Ait Larbi said the charges violate the constitution.
“Algeria has ratified international conventions on freedom of religion. This is a violation pure and simple of the constitution,” he said.
The north African country has a small Christian population, estimated by a Kabylie pastor at 30,000, living amid its Muslim majority.
The ministry of religious affairs says there are 11,000 Christians for a total population of 35.6 million Algerians.
According to the rights group SOS Libertes, formed by intellectuals who came together in 2008, a group of 10 people will appear before the tribunal at Akbou in Kabylie on November 8, on the same charge of breaking the Ramadan fast.