Pope Begins Lightening Visit to Morocco
03/30/2019 Morocco (International Christian Concern) – The Pope is spending the weekend in Morocco, his first trip to a North African country and the first time a pope has visited Morocco since 1985. His itinerary is structured to build upon his historic papal visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this year. However, his current trip is met with much debate among Christians in Morocco.
Like the UAE, Morocco has a number of expats living in the country. Indeed, most Roman Catholics living in Morocco are expatriates. They are subject to laws which restrict Christianity, such as prohibitions on proselytism. They are, however, by and large able to worship openly.
Moroccan Christians report greater restrictions on their faith. Some are discouraged from attending foreign churches (because of fear of proselytism charges) and report government harassment, which occasionally includes pressure to renounce their faith. Many Moroccan Christians come from a Muslim Background, and are thus also subjected to social pressure and intimidation.
Moroccan Christians have asked that the Pope raise their plight to the government during his visit. While they acknowledge that much progress has been recently made by the King to ease their situation, no solid legal changes have been made, and thus Christians are still at risk of persecution.
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