10/23/2021 Morocco (International Christian Concern) – In the recent elections held in Morocco, the ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party was ousted by the National Rally of Independents party. The new head of government will be the liberal Aziz Akhannouch, who King Mohammed VI tasked with forming a new government with entities that “share the same principles and values.”
The Justice and Development Party, which has been historically affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic extremist group, controlled the government in Morocco since 2011, implementing various policies informed by political Islam. After this most recent election, the party now controls just 13 out of 395 seats in the House of Representatives, and 12 out of 120 seats in the House of Councillors. Now that Islamists no longer wield tremendous power in government, Christians in Morocco can relax and anticipate greater religious freedom with the new government.
According to Mustafa Akalay, an esteemed professor in Morocco, “the polls have spoken and the people have chosen a non-confessional government.” He went on to say that “a new era of reform looms and there are glimpses and good intentions of change, such as the election of women mayors in the three main cities: Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakesh.” Akalay believes that the new winds of change should lead to greater religious freedom, “which will favor efficient religious diversity and fruitful inter-religious dialogue.”
Christians in Morocco have expressed their gratitude at the election results. Imounan, a church planter in Agadir, proclaimed, “We thank Jesus, the Islamists are gone. God has answered our prayers and now we have the government we wanted.” Another Christian remarked that Akhannouch’s background as a businessman makes him indifferent to religion, that he “doesn’t care if you worship the sun or the moon,” and as such would not target religious minorities such as Christians. Christians in Morocco have much to be thankful for, as greater freedom for them is on the horizon.