Parliamentary constitutional monarchy
King Mohammed VI
Article 220 of Morocco’s penal code criminalizes “shaking the faith of a Muslim.” The law puts many Christians, both Moroccan and foreign, who talk to others about their faith at risk of arrest and criminal prosecution. Christians rights advocates have also been targeted by the Moroccan government for their activities and threatened with violent attacks by Islamic extremists. While the law only punishes proselytizing, Moroccan converts to Christianity can be punished in other ways, like losing inheritance rights and custody of their children.
Both young women became Christians in college. When they told their parents about their newfound faith, they were beaten for shaming the family. Finally, under constant pressure, both girls pretended to return to Islam to maintain peace in their families. But they both continue to believe in Jesus in secret. They meet with other believers on a day other than Sunday to avoid further punishment. “If my father found out, he’d kill me,” Nadeen said. And she means it literally.
The outlook for Christians in Morocco has worsened this year in Morocco. Pressure increased across the board and violence even rose because several believers were forced to leave the country during the reporting period. Life for Christians in Morocco remains very difficult.
In Morocco’s rural areas, the Islamic population is known to be conservative Muslims; most persecution incidents take place in the northeast region, the Atlas mountains in the east and the southeastern desert area. Most converts in Morocco live in urban areas, where it’s easier to escape family and community pressure. However, during COVID-19 lockdowns, many converts suffered when they were forced into isolation, unable to escape potentially dangerous situations inside their homes.
Open Doors works with local partners and churches to come alongside persecuted believers in North Africa in multiple ways: biblical training, discipleship materials, advocacy, business microloans and mobilizing worldwide prayer support for Christians in difficult situations.