The Moroccan government has expressed its intentions to take a tough line on proselytism. The act of seeking converts from another religion. This announcement came two days after the country expelled 20 Christian workers. Khalid Naciri, the country’s Communications Minister warned that the government would be severe with all those who play with religious values. Under Moroccan law religious freedom is guaranteed but the act of proselytism is banned. Christian groups have claimed that the authorities are deliberately trying to restrict their work in the country. Those expelled were running a children’s home called Village of Hope near the town of Ain Leuh in the Middle Atlas mountains.
There were 33 children housed in the home who according to reports, would otherwise have been abandoned. Those expelled were given just a few days’ notice to cease their activities and leave the country, a statement on the group’s website said. They were accused of trying to convert the children in their care to Christianity. In a statement, the group said it had always been open about its Christian beliefs with the authorities, and for 10 years had been allowed to take in and foster abandoned children. They went on to say the deportation is part of a nationwide crackdown against Christians living in Morocco and has appealed to the king to overturn the ban.
The Communications Minister was also quoted as saying that the expelled foreigners took advantage of the poverty of some families and targeted their young children, whom they took in hand, in violation of the kafala (adoption) procedures for abandoned or orphaned children. According to him, Morocco had always been and remains a land of openness and tolerance. He said, “All churches have their place on the street in Morocco and Christians practise their religion freely, the rare cases of expulsion have nothing to do with the practice of Christianity but with acts of proselytism.” He maintained that the warning also applied to Muslim gro
© 2010, Newstime Africa. All rights reserved. Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.