World Watch List: 27
Leader: King Mohammed VI
Population: 37 million
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Constitutional Monarchy
Source of Persecution: Islamic Oppression
Open Doors supports the persecuted church in North Africa through:
- Christian literature distribution
- Socio-economic development
- Microloans, follow-up ministry via different media channels and advocacy training to stand up for the rights of Christians.
- Prayer support
Meet “Islém,” a convert from Islam in North Africa
“My father and I were watching TV, and there was a program about a Muslim school that was teaching the Quran to small children. I was against this idea, so I tried to talk about it, and I told him that I was against that kind of Salafi [extremist] people who teach the Quran to young children. He told me to leave the house.”
Persecution Type: Islamic oppression, Dictatorial paranoia
The average pressure on Christians in Morocco remains high. And for converts from Islam, the pressure is even higher. They can lose their inheritance rights or even custody of their children.
Converts face opposition from family members, who do not want them to practice their new faith publicly—often, this means new Christians are not allowed to be baptized, married or buried in a church or Christian ceremony. Particularly in rural areas, these followers of Jesus also face significant hostility from their local community and government.
The Moroccan penal code also presents issues for Moroccan Christians. According to the code, it is a criminal act to “shake the faith of a Muslim.” Obviously, this greatly depends on contextual interpretation, but practically it means it is very difficult for Christians to share their faith and chokes the ability of churches to reach their community. Additionally, Christian advocates have been targeted for violent attack by Islamic extremists.
Morocco fell one rank on the 2021 World Watch List from the 2020 List. However, persecution actually rose a bit, mostly because of increased pressure in family, community and church life. Violence decreased slightly, but not enough to significantly alter the outlook for Christians in this North African nation.
People who follow Jesus after coming from Islam face the greatest danger in Morocco—including pressure from family, community and government. However, the level of this persecution and discrimination may vary from area to area. For this reason, converts choose to live in urban areas, where it is easier to escape from the more conservative Islamic culture of the rural areas.
-Pray for unity in the Moroccan church. Believers are scattered around the country and don’t know each other well. Special efforts need to be made to be united.
-Pray for children in local schools. Islam is taught in many different subjects at school. Christian children say this is confusing, as they hear different teaching at home. Pray they will not feel confused, but that they will deeply know the truth.
-Pray for Christians involved in social work. They are a great example of taking care of the vulnerable in society and being a testimony in society. Pray for God to give people vision for how to be involved in this work.
-Pray for Christian converts from Islam in Morocco. Pray they will be protected from harm or discrimination from their families, and that they will be able to walk openly with Jesus.