#27 in Christian persecution, Morocco

SCORE

68.63

REGION

Africa

PERSECUTION TYPE

Islamic oppression

RELIGION

Islam

PERSECUTION LEVEL

Very High

POPULATION

37,498,000

CHRISTIAN

31,400

GOVERNMENT

Parliamentary constitutional monarchy

LEADER

King Mohammed VI

PROFILE OF PERSECUTION

Violence 3.9/16.7

Church Life 14.2/16.7

National Life 12.8/16.7

Community Life 10.8/16.7

Family Life 13.8/16.7

Private Life 13.1/16.7

How the scoring worksDownload country dossier with in-depth research

What does persecution look like in Morocco?

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.

Meet “Nadeen” and “Fatima”

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.

What has changed this year?

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.

Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

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.

What does Open Doors do to help?

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.

Population statistic: Johnson T M and Zurlo G A, eds., World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed April 2021).

Pray for Morocco

  • Pray with isolated believers in Morocco who must sustain their faith alone or risk house arrest, physical attacks, arrest and imprisonment. Ask the Lord to draw close to His people and fill their hearts with the knowledge of His presence and love.

  • Pray for tolerance of faiths other than Islam in Moroccan society, with freedom to gather and strengthen congregations that benefit the country as a whole.

  • Ask God to guide and protect our local partners in Morocco as they reach out to believers who are rejected by their Muslim families or community.

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