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Morocco Facts

Score:66/ 100
Region:Africa
Persecution Type:Islamic oppression
Persecution Level:Very High
Population:36,635,000
Christians:32,200
Main Religion:Islam
Government:Constitutional monarchy
Leader:King Mohammed VI

Profile of Persecution

Violence 24%
Church Life 85%
National Life 70%
Community Life 65%
Family Life 80%
Private Life 74%

Illegal to share your faith

Although Morocco is considered to be relatively tolerant compared to other countries in the region, it is illegal to evangelize. Moroccan law criminalizes “shaking the faith of a Muslim,” which means that Christians who talk to others about their faith risk criminal charges and arrest. Converts to Christianity can be punished in other ways, as well, such as losing inheritance rights and custody of children. Other restrictions imposed by Islamic authorities include the confiscation of Christian literature in Arabic (including Bibles) and serious challenges in securing places of worship for Christians with a Muslim background. Islamic extremists are also a threat; advocates for the rights of Christians have been targeted for violent attack.

How Christians are suffering

Because they cannot get permission and official recognition to meet together publicly, Moroccan Christians meet in house churches; they are especially aware they are under close surveillance by authorities who monitor their activities. To ensure Moroccans are not attending services, expatriate churches are also monitored intensely.  Expatriates accused of sharing the gospel in Morocco have been deported. Christians from Muslim backgrounds face pressure from their families and communities, especially in rural areas, so they may be forced to keep their faith a secret.

Examples

Several converts from Islam to Christianity were detained and questioned by the security services about their possession of Bibles, as well as their contact with foreign Christians.

Converts from a Muslim background are often the victim of physical or even sexual abuse at the hands of members of their (extended) family. Female converts have been forced to marry a Muslim man.

During the reporting period, at least two church properties were vandalized. The number of church properties in Morocco is very low.

The apartment of at least one convert from Islam to Christianity was demolished by his own family.

Population and number of Christian statistics: Johnson T M and Zurlo G A, eds., World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed April 2019).

 

Pray for Morocco

  • A recurrent problem for Christians who are open about their faith relates to Article 220 of Morocco’s Penal Code, which criminalizes “shaking the faith of a Muslim.” This puts many Christians who talk to others about their faith at risk of criminal prosecution and arrest. Pray that believes are emboldened to share the love of Christ.
  • Pray for Christians who have difficulty finding a church to attend. Pray that they would not be discouraged or lose their commitment to meet with a church community.
  • While the law only punishes proselytization, converts to Christianity can be punished in other ways, for instance by losing inheritance rights and custody of children. Pray for protection against injustice.

Stories from Morocco

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March 6, 2020

A ‘living death’: How Christian women experience persecution

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