Moroccan Christians want same rights as Jews


Christians in Morocco wishing to have freedom to practise their religion are holding up the Jews as the model they aspire to. The mere fact that they are voicing their aspirations on Moroccan TV shows that there is a movement edging slowly towards pluralism. The watershed event was a ruling by a Moroccan religious committee that apostates should not be killed for converting from Islam. Via MEMRI (With thanks: Lily)

A recent TV reporthighlighted the problems faced by Christian converts
in Morocco, who say that they are denied the right to celebrate
Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Akouri Abdallah, who complained about the
discrimination suffered by Christians, Baha’is and other non-Muslim
believers, said: “My message is that we want the same rights as the
Jews,” who “have been enjoying their rights for years.” The report aired
on the Moroccan Chouf TV channel on December 25, 2016.


  • This is very interesting issue. When I worked in Morocco (1980's) doing ethnographic research with US Agency of International Development (USAID),I encountered a lots of Christians who worked with USAID and Peace Corps as chauffeurs and translators. These were not Catholics, they were Baptists of the American Evangelist kind. I could not believe it. All were young in their 20's 30's and were Arabs and born in Morocco.

    How could that be I asked myself. I once have left one Texas University were the Baptists were the dominant religious group, only to encounter real Moroccan Baptists. That cannot be. Most were not practicing but could recount stories of the old testament and of course the new testament all the times and spoke perfect English. I found out the hard truth about this. The chauffeurs took me to their region in the foot hills of the Atlas mountains. There were two major orphanages(with school and clinic) run by an American Evangelist institution. I do not know if they are still operating. The last time I heard from one of them, was that the two orphanages were closed because the authorities suspected evangelizing. DEUH!!!

    All those young Moroccan Baptists were born out of wed lock. Given the fact that Muslim religion frown at adoption, and illegitimate children are a damned group, most end up been given to these two Christian orphanages. The babies are taught English and Arabic and they never can trace their parents. It is a taboo. In a sense, their mothers gave them away in order to avoid shame, expulsion and even lynching.

    Some of them ended up migrating to the US. But many stayed. I do not know if they are practicing their religion nowadays. I presume that they gave it up and assume the Muslim religion if they want to survive in Morocco. A sad encounter of mal adapted culture.

  • The watershed event is in my view the Moroccan Constitution of 2011 which recognizes the plurality of the Moroccan national identity.
    A sovereign Muslim State, attached to its national unity and to its territorial integrity, the Kingdom of Morocco intends to preserve, in its plenitude and its diversity, its one and indivisible national identity. Its unity is forged by the convergence of its Arabo-Islamic, its Amazigh and Saharo-Hassani components, and is nourished and enriched by its African, Andalusian, Hebraic and Mediterranean influences.

    Note that nowhere does it mention that Morocco has been enriched by a Christian component. The reason is that there haven't been indigenous Moroccan Christians in Morocco since roughly the 13th century. All the openly practicing Christians have foreign citizenship even those whose families have lived there for many generations as Christians.

    I don't see those Muslim converts to Christianity receive recognition as converts if that's what it is they demand because the law criminalizing proselytism is still in effect.


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