We, the members of the Worldwide Union of Moroccan Christians, declare that:
We are following with great anticipation these waves of convocations, interrogations, arrests, and detentions, practiced these last few weeks by Moroccan security forces against Moroccan Christians, as well as the deportations of foreign aid workers working with humanitarian organizations in Morocco. With this press release, we hope to clarify the following points:
As Moroccan Christians, we are proud of our rich Christian heritage. Some are first generation, others second and third, and all of these people and families have different functions in Moroccan society and abroad. We live our daily lives peaceably, in total harmony and respect in our society that we serve according to our abilities and with zeal.
Contrary to the regrettable claims repeated by certain media that attempt to question the validity of our faith using any and every means possible, we hold fast in affirming that our faith in Christ is a personal choice that was never the result of pressure or material or social motivations. Our convictions are religious and are not the result of any foreign influence.
The abuses and persecution coming from Moroccan authorities affect us as Christians and deprive us of our fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution and by all the internationally recognized charters and conventions. They contradict the Moroccan government’s declarations pronounced by its spokesman and communications minister by which Morocco guarantees religious and ideological freedom. It is our duty to question the legitimacy of these claims, because if they were true, why are Moroccan Christians being persecuted? Under what laws are they being interrogated and arrested?
We hold fast in affirming that the declarations of the foreign church leaders in Morocco do not reflect in any way the opinion of Moroccan Christians. In fact, as foreign Christians residing in Morocco, they benefit from privileges for which Moroccan Christians have been denied: places of worship, churches, a total ban on gathering together and practicing our rituals in both private and in public sectors. We are not even allowed to defend our faith when asked to do so. In the end, we don’t even have right to possess Bibles in Arab or in Amazigh (Berber language) in our dear country, as our Bibles are confiscated and considered as tools for proselytizing.
We denounce the harassments that we are suffering as Moroccan Christians as being religious persecution that have absolutely no link to any political position. On the other hand, we as Moroccan Christians pray for our king, our people and our homeland from Tangier to Laguira, for more goodwill, more progress and more prosperity.
It is on this basis that we are asking the Moroccan government the following:
To stop all forms of systematic security threats, arrests, detentions, and inspections with the sole objective of humiliating Christians and to pressure them to renounce their religious convictions.
That the government would open formal channels of dialogue with Moroccan Christians to establish true clarity, transparency and understanding, because we are looking to maintain the country’s integrity as well as its security.
The official recognition of Moroccan Christians and their right to have services and to practice their rituals and Christian rites freely without harassments and restrictions.
The permission granted to Moroccans to convert to the religion of their choice, including Christianity, without being submitted to any interrogation or harassment from security forces, as it is guaranteed by the Moroccan constitution.