In Algeria, the birthplace of Saint Augustine, there are only around 5,000 Catholics living today. Algeria, in Northwest Africa, is today the largest country in Africa, with an area of almost 930,000 square miles (2.38 million km²) – around one quarter the size of the United States! 97% of its 36.5 million inhabitants are Muslims, and the few Christians who live in the country are widely scattered. Moreover, they have to tread very carefully, in order not to risk being accused of proselytising among the Muslim majority.
Father Paul-Elie Cheknoun is a young Algerian priest, ordained only in 2016. He grew up in Algeria, though he trained for the priesthood in France. After his ordination, his French bishop sent him to Algeria in response to a request from the Archbishop of Algiers, who needed a priest to serve the Catholic faithful there.
Father Paul has to cover very long distances in order to reach his Catholic faithful. Consequently, he has urgent need of a suitable vehicle and has turned to ACN to help. He writes: „By helping me you will be helping the Christians of Algeria, to whom I have dedicated my life.“ We have promised him a suitable vehicle.