How many Christians are there in Morocco?
There are around 37.5 million people in Morocco, but only around 31,400 Christians – less than 0.1% of the population.
How are Christians persecuted in Morocco?
It is illegal in Morocco to ‘shake the faith of a Muslim’. This law puts many Christians, both Moroccan and foreign, who talk to others about their faith at risk of arrest and criminal prosecution. Christians’ rights advocates have also been targeted by the Moroccan government for their activities and threatened with violent attacks by Islamic extremists. While the law only punishes proselytising, Moroccan converts to Christianity can be pressured in other ways, such as losing inheritance rights and custody of their children.
Women who become Christians are vulnerable to divorce, house arrest, forced marriage to a non-Christian or expulsion from their homes. Most female Christian converts are alone in their faith, without access to Christian literature or fellowship.
Men are more likely to face government interrogation, imprisonment and beatings. Each year, Christian men are arrested and fined in Morocco for nothing more than having a Bible or discussing Christianity with a Muslim. The unrelenting pressure often leaves Christian men weary and desperate; some choose to leave the country for relief.
“I am so afraid my parents will find out. My father would kill me.” Nadeen, a believer in Morocco
What’s life like for Christians in Morocco?
Anybody who converts to Christianity from a Muslim background must keep their faith a secret. Nadeen* is terrified that her father will find out. When she became a Christian after hearing about Jesus, she was open with her family – who were furious. Her father beat her. And so she has to pretend that she is still a Muslim, despite following and loving Jesus.
“Thank God, I found a way to meet with some other Christians on another day in the week. We organised that in a way that my family doesn’t get suspicious,” says Nadeen.
Christians who do manage to gather must do so in house churches, as they can’t get permission to meet publicly, and expatriate churches are monitored to make sure Moroccans don’t attend. Expatriates who are accused of sharing their faith can be deported.
*Name changed for security reasons
Is it getting harder to be a Christian in Morocco?
Life for Christians in Morocco remains very difficult. Although the country has not moved on this year’s World Watch List, pressure has increased across the board and violence even rose – several believers were forced to leave the country.
How can I help Christians in Morocco?
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Morocco. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors works with local partners in North Africa to provide leadership training, discipleship, livelihood support, pastoral care and prayer support.
Father God, sustain our persecuted church family in Morocco and reveal to them other Christians they can speak to about You. Comfort believers who have lost so much – like custody of their children, or even their freedom – because they have chosen to follow you. Give Open Doors partners discernment and courage as they work to lift the hearts of secret believers and meet their needs. Amen.