In December of 2005 a Christian man in Morocco by the name of Jamaa Ait Bakrim was arrested for burning down two old, unused wooden posts outside of his home. Almost seven years later, he is still sitting behind bars in the country’s largest prison and still has another 8 years left on his sentence. Why is Jamaa spending more than a decade in jail for destroying a couple of old wooden posts?
Because Jamaa is a Christian who dared to be open about his faith in Christ in one of the strictest Muslim countries of North Africa. The destruction of the posts, which Jamaa had asked for permission to get rid of, was simply an excuse for local police to arrest a man who somehow resisted all of the pressure to hide his Christian beliefs. Most of Jamaa’s 15-years sentence is not for destruction of property, but for “proselytizing”, a crime in Morocco that is rigidly forbidden and punished.
Jamaa’s journey to Christ and his eventual sentencing began decades ago when he converted to Christianity in Europe in the early 1990’s. Within a few years of returning to Morocco Jamaa was rejected by his family, forced into a mental institution, and sentenced to over a year in jail for having the audacity to put up a Christian cross in public.
Somehow undeterred Jamaa continued to be vocal about his faith until police finally found an excuse, the destruction of the wooden posts, to put Jamaa away for as long as possible.
Today, Jamaa needs your help. Without action it is likely that he will remain in prison for another 8 years, but outside pressure could be the key to securing his release. It will also send a message to the Moroccan government that it is unjust to imprison a man simply because he does not hide his faith. Lend your voice to ours, sign our petition and call for Jamaa’s immediate release.
Deadline has been extended! Follow the instructions below and have your signatures back to us by Friday, November 9.
Here's How You Can Help
#1 Pray: The first thing you can do to help is stop right now and ask the Lord to intervene on behalf of Jamaa.
#2 Next, review our petition.
#3 Electronically sign the petition by clicking here.
#4 Print out the petition and take it to your friends and church and have everyone you know sign it. Send it back to us so we can compile the responses.
Feel free to print out extra signature pages for large numbers of sign ups. When you have collected all your signatures, please mail the signature pages to:
PO Box 8056
Silver Spring, MD 20907
or fax them to us at (301) 585-5918
Please get them back to us by Friday, November 9.