Morocco Expels Christian Missionaries

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Worthy News Staff

RABAT, MOROCCO (Worthy News) -- Morocco said Sunday, March 29, it has expelled five Christian missionaries because they were "illegally" trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.

The Interior Ministry of this predominantly Islamic nation said the Christians, including four Spaniards and one German woman,  were detained Saturday while meeting Moroccan Muslims in Casablanca, the North African kingdom's economic capital.

In a statement, carried by local media, the ministry said the Christians were sent to Spain by boat.

"Numerous pieces of evangelical propaganda material were also seized," including video cassettes in Arabic that advocated conversion to Christianity, the ministry added.

The Associated Press news agency quoted an unidentified official as saying that Morocco "has nothing against the Christian faith" but that authorities felt the missionaries "had gone too far."

The Christians were reportedly expelled without being officially arrested or charged. Officials were not able to specify the Christian denomination to which the missionaries belonged.

It comes at a time when several Evangelical Christians have been charged or detained in recent months in neighboring Algeria. Authorities throughout North Africa have become increasingly wary of what they view as a an effort by Protestant churches and groups to spread Christianity in the overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim region.

Marocco's King Mohammed VI is also "Amir al-Mouminine," or commander of the believers and protector of the Muslim faith.