07/18/2020 Morocco (International Christian Concern) – Christian converts in Morocco are repeatedly arrested as law enforcement attempt to quell conversion rates, warns a local human rights group. As the penal code holds that all Moroccans are Muslims, Christian converts face serious legal repercussions if caught. Converts are frequently arrested, interrogated, and harassed with police even threatening wives and children.
Although Christianity is not legally recognized in Morocco, foreign Christians are generally allowed freedom of worship while in the country. However, Moroccan Christian converts can be sent to jail for participating in foreigners’ worship services.
“If a Moroccan enters a church, one of two things can happen – either a policeman sitting in front of the church arrests him or her, or the cleric in charge of the church asks the person to leave, unless the purpose is tourism. Moroccan Christians worship in secret house churches to avoid state sanctions or harassment from society,” explained Jawad Elhamidy, president of the Moroccan Association of Rights and Religious Liberties.
Moroccan converts attending foreign churches can be just as dangerous for the clerics, as the government can charge them with up to three years in prison for “proselytizing or converting to another religion.” Through these laws, the Moroccan government discriminates and persecutes its own Christian citizens.