World Watch List Challenge – #44 Morocco
Socially, Morocco’s population of over 33 million is almost entirely a mix of Arab and Berber descent. While Arab is the official language, Berber dialects, as well as French, continue to be spoken. Over 99 percent of the population is Muslim, the majority being Sunni, with the remaining being mostly Christian with a significant Jewish community, as well.
Politically, Morocco is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. The King, currently King Mohammed VI, is granted extensive executive powers and is both the political leader and the ‘Defender of the Faith’. He presides over the Council of Ministers and must now appoint the Prime Minister following legislative elections from the winning party. On recommendations from the Prime Minister, he appoints the members of the government.
Although the church in Morocco numbers somewhere around 25,000, it is estimated that over 80-95 percent of the Christians are not Moroccan in origin. Registered churches and associations include the Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, French Protestant and Anglican churches. The Catholic Church forms the majority among these groups.
Often, there is very little overt persecution of Christians in Morocco. Many converts from Islam face family pressure and societal ostracism, and religious education for children of Christian families is not provided.
*Names, photographs and other information have been changed for security purposes