Moroccan Christians Ask for Religious Freedom
03/19/2019 Morocco (International Christian Concern) – The Committee of Moroccan Christians have written a letter to Pope Francis which lists violations of religious freedoms within the country and asks that the Vatican take up these issues with the government during the upcoming papal visit.
There are three violations which are particularly highlighted in the letter. First, the committee notes that Moroccan security forces make abusive arrests for Christian who proclaim their religion or take part in prayer services at underground churches. Second, the authorities have a record of confiscating their identity documents. Third, the authorities have expelled hundreds of foreigners on the charge of proselytizing. The letter also highlights that verbal and physical abuse is possible at all times.
The committee does note that the King has taken positive steps to make Morocco a tolerant country. This comment references the 2016 Marrakesh Declaration, an unofficial document which recognizes the rights of Christians. However, those rights have not been codified. The committee notes that many Moroccan leaders view Christians as “partisans of segregation.” They are hopeful that by raising these issues during his visit, Pope Francis will be able to encourage the government to take official steps in protecting the religious freedom of Christians.
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