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Religion in Algeria


  Islam is the prevailed religion in Algeria .Algerian Muslims are predominantly Sunni, from the Maliki rite. There is only a small community of Muslim Ibadi in the province of Ghardaïa. The Christian and the Jewish community were once important in Algeria, but a large part of its members left the country after the independence in 1962. Informal data on the number of Christian and Jewish citizens vary between 12,000 and 20,000 who concentrated in large cities such as Algiers, Annaba, Constantine and Oran. A significant proportion of foreign Christian residents are students and illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa who seek to travel to Europe and it is difficult to estimate their numbers. The press reported that Christian proselytism had led to the conversion of a large number of Muslims from Kabylia to Christianity; However, Christian sources have indicated that these figures are exaggerated because there are no standardized statistics on religious conversions.In Algeria, religious tolerance and freedom of worship are traditional and Christian churches are still active. 

   The vast majority of Algerians are Sunni Muslims, and the Islamic religion is an important part of Muslim life, since it dictates a number of guidelines not only for family relations, etiquette, food customs and clothing, but also in matters of law and commerce. Religious festivals are the Muslim festivals. They are fixed each year according to the lunar calendar. The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is the month of Ramadan. Throughout this month, Muslims must abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from sunrise to sunset to commemorate God's revelation to Muhammad. Children, pregnant women and the sick are not obliged to comply with this fast, but they eat less than usual. The government observes the following holidays as national holidays: the birth of the prophet Mohammed, Eid-El-Fitr, Eid-El-Adha, Awal Moharem and Achura.

   Eid El-Fitr or Eid El Seghir, in the Algerian dialect, marks the end of the long fasting month of Ramadan. The men will pray at the mosque in the early morning and after that families will meet around a hearty meal. Everyone wears new clothes and the children receive money from their parents and other family members. 

   Eid El-Adha or El-Kebir, in the Algerian dialect, celebrates the tenth day of Dhu Al-Hijja (Hegira calendar), the last month of the year. This celebration commemorates the Prophet Abraham's willingness to offer his son as a sacrifice to Allah (God). On this day, the heads of families sacrifice a sheep according to Muslim rites and share the meat with their families, friends and the poor.
   In addition to the happy event which is called among the Muslims El Mawlid Ennabaoui. More commonly, the Mouloud. From the North to the South and from the East to the West , Algerians celebrate this festive rite by drawing the henna tattoos on the hands and preparing specific meals like recheta or couscous to emphasize the importance of the moment.  

   Awal Moharem is the Muslim New Year, according to the Hegira calendar.
   Achoura intervenes on the 10th of the month of Moharem. It is the feast of alms that are distributed on the poor.

Religion in Algeria (written by ARAB Sabrina) 

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