Algeria

Youcef Belmehdi: Work continues to strengthen national religious reference and devote religious identity

Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments, Youcef Belmehdi, affirmed, Monday in Algiers, that work is continuing to complete the implementation of the national strategy in the field of religious activities related to strengthening the national religious authority and consolidating religious identity.

During his review of the sector’s road map within the framework of the government’s action plan for the year 2021, before the Committee on Education, Higher Education, Scientific Research and Religious Affairs of the National People’s Assembly, and in the presence of the Minister of Relations with Parliament, Basma Azouar, Belmehdi said that “the ministry is working to complete the implementation of the national strategy in the field of religious activities related to strengthening the national religious authority and consolidating religious identity.”

The minister added that “strengthening this field, which falls under the axis related to the consolidation, promotion and protection of the elements of national identity and memory, and contained within the government’s work plan, pays special attention to our religious and national reference, as it developed an approach that enhances the role of the state in preserving religious heritage and the components of authentic Islamic culture.”

The ministry’s vision in this regard depends – as he said – on the principle of continuity in establishing an integrated national religious system that guarantees religious institutions a leading position, which contributes to strengthening the components of national identity.

The same ministerial department ensures, according to the minister’s presentation, that “the freedom of worship for non-Muslims is respected within the framework of compliance with the applicable legislation and regulation, and the ministry’s work map includes a clause stipulating the encouragement of religious tourism to make it a spiritual link with the peoples of Africa and the rest of the world,  in addition to adapting training programs and curricula, improving the standard and encouraging religious guidance activities for the benefit of women.”

With regard to the national network of mosques, the ministry is working, according to Mr. Belmehdi, “to unify the architectural aspects of these structures, while working on the other hand to upgrade endowment properties and strengthen the zakat system in order to enable them to contribute more to strengthening social cohesion, a role currently entrusted to the National Office of Endowments and Zakat, which has been implemented while activating its leading role in the country’s economic development.

In a related context, the minister evoked the “support to the path of religious supervision for the benefit of the national community residing abroad with the aim of consolidating the relationship that binds it to the homeland, by, for example, as he said, strengthening the role of the Paris Mosque in the religious supervision of members of the community.”

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