Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
Christians face a rising level of religious freedom around the world, and especially in the Middle East. Two recent studies from respected research organizations, Pew Forum and Open Doors, have highlighted the massive scale of the issue. Many are pushing for the United States to make the protection of religious minorities a core part of foreign policy, which the administration says that it already is. The problem has been in the failure to back the rhetoric with action. While there are political issues involved, it is imperative that the positions that exist to protect religious minorities be quickly filled if the United States is to have any credibility behind its claims to be a defender of religious freedom.
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
A Moroccan Christian who was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison for speaking about his faith has been formally cleared. The court proceedings in the case against Mohamed El Baladi, a Christian, were finalized on February 13th, bringing an end to a case that had originally raised concerns about a possible crackdown on religious activity. The court ruled that Mohamed had simply spoken about his faith, with no attempts at coercion. His trial has brought the reality of Moroccan Christians into the public spotlight across the country as his testimony and the persecution he has faced since becoming a believer has been shared in Moroccan media.
Friday, February 14th, 2014
Lawmakers listened to testimony from experts and religious leaders highlighting the persecution of Christians that is rampant across the Middle East. As a representative from the Vatican stated, Arab Christians “find themselves the target of constant harassment for no reason other than their religious faith.” The United States has an important role to play in leading the conversation to find solutions to religiously based discrimination and persecution.
Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
The jail sentence of a Moroccan Christian who was convicted of evangelism related charges has been dropped by the Moroccan court. Mohamed El Baladi was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to 30 months in jail this past fall. The case however was not handled on the merits of the law but had other more personal motivations as well. The judge has overturned the ruling on the basis of a lack of evidence that his actions were at all dishonest or coercive. This is a positive sign for Christians in a country that strictly monitors Christians, but generally allows them to exercise their faith in private.
Monday, February 10th, 2014
The uncle of a convert from Islam to Christianity "hired two teenage boys to feign interest in Christianity, and police were on hand to arrest him for proselytizing minors when [the Christian] met with them a second time." However, in recent success for the convert, the judge dismissed the case.
Friday, December 27th, 2013
A Moroccan appeals court heard the case of a Christian who was sentenced to 30 months in prison on charges of proselytizing and inducing Muslims to convert from Islam. Mohamed El Baladi was convicted in an unusually speedy trial, and denied legal representation. He was able to secure lawyers for his appeal and is now awaiting a final ruling, expected to be delivered on February 6.
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
A recent report highlights that in the midst of rising persecution more and more people want access to the scriptures. The distribution of Bibles has continued to increase around the world. In places like Syria, Iraq, and throughout North Africa access to the Bible is crucial to sustaining the church in the midst of the harsh realities of persecution they are suffering.
Friday, November 22nd, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) welcomes the arrival of Moroccan King Mohammed VI on an official visit to meet with President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. ICC is urging the White House and State Department to make the protection of religious freedom a core component of these discussions. In light of the rising tide of religious extremism across the region, Morocco has the opportunity to play a key role in countering this trend which is a primary cause of persecution of Christians and other religious minorities. The protection of religious freedom and the danger of violent religious extremism should be core components of these discussions.
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
At the appeal hearing for a Moroccan Christian who has been sentenced to 30 months in prison under charges of “shaking the faith of a Muslim,” a group of human rights lawyers stood up in his defense. The case of Mohammad El Baladi has garnered significant attention after his rapid arrest and conviction. The case has now been delayed until late December and Mohammed is currently free while awaiting the hearing.
Friday, September 27th, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) has recently learned Mohamed El Baladi has been released from the Moroccan prison where he was held after being sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for the crimes of evangelism and shaking the faith of a Muslim. Mohamed had been held in prison since his arrest in late August, a troubling development as Christians have not served jail time on purely religious charges in some time. The release is only until his official appeal hearing, scheduled for October 10th. The release is a surprising turn of events, since Mohamed has already been convicted of the crimes it is highly unusual for a convicted “criminal” to be released while waiting for an appeal.
Thursday, September 12th, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned of the arrest and conviction of Mohamed El Baladi in the town of Ain Aicha, Morocco. On Monday, September 2nd, Mohamed was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison and a fine of 5000 dirham ($600 USD) for the crimes of evangelism and shaking the faith of a Muslim. Also, as a part of the judge’s ruling, arrest warrants were issued for individuals connected with Mohamed. An appeal of the conviction has been filed in this case calling for it to be overturned and the complete ruling of the judge to be thrown out.
Sunday, June 2nd, 2013
The expulsion of aid workers from the Village of Hope (VOH) orphanage casted a dark shadow over the cases of all foreign nationals that were deported from Morocco in 2010. The ruling verdict reflected poorly on the values and basic fairness of the Moroccan justice system and courts, being not only an injustice to the VOH staffers but also a callous disregard of the interests of the 33 children who regarded the VOH staff as their family. Today, VOH workers continue their struggle to return to Morocco and will take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary, Morning Star News reports.
Friday, May 17th, 2013
Morocco’s highest religious authority has issued a fatwa calling for the execution of Muslims who leave Islam, raising questions about its possible outcomes and leaving Christian converts fearing for their lives.
Monday, May 6th, 2013
The Supreme Ulema Council in Morocco recently published a fatwa calling for the death penalty for Muslims who leave Islam. In this article, Morning Star News interviews a Moroccan Christian convert active in the house church movement who said that many former Muslims who converted to Christianity fear for their lives.
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the Supreme Ulema Council in Morocco published a fatwa this week calling for the death penalty for Muslims who abandon their religion. Christians are concerned that the edict, which has sparked controversy in the country, will be used to “harass” and “harm” the church if approved.
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
"For the Christians in Morocco, these arrests are a sign. The country is now governed by a government with clear influence of Islamists. Christians believe that the arrests are the start of a new trend," Open Doors told Mission Network News.
Sunday, February 19th, 2012
“Islamic law is increasingly used by authoritarian governments and extremist forces in the Muslim world to acquire and consolidate power, experts say, which is becoming an increasing threat to religious minorities, especially Christians,” the Christian Post reports.
Monday, December 12th, 2011
“[Political Islam] may prove to be one of the most lasting legacies of the Arab spring,” The Guardian reports.
Friday, October 7th, 2011
A Moroccan Christian convert from Islam has been granted asylum in the United States. The convert faced persecution for converting from Islam. He was assaulted and stabbed by radical Muslims.
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
Congressman advocates for a Bill to establish a Special Envoy for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia to help protect persecuted Christians.
Friday, February 11th, 2011
“The fact is, religious freedom in Morocco simply does not exist. The West is presented with a façade that is now exposed. However, Morocco will continue to ensure that all other religions are hidden, suppressed and eliminated.”
Monday, October 25th, 2010
Saturday, October 23rd, 2010
Friday, October 22nd, 2010
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
Friday, September 24th, 2010
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
Monday, September 20th, 2010
Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
An internet message posted in July delivered a deadly ultimatum to pharmacy owners.