In recent weeks, the Moroccan government has continued its crackdown on Christians, expelling as many as 60 Christian aid workers from the country, according to Smyrna Ministries International.
Moroccan police accused Christian aid workers from the United States, Korea, Netherlands and England of “violating Morocco’s anti-proselytism laws.” “On March 8, police visited the orphanage Village of Hope, which has been operating with the government’s approval for the past ten years,” Smyrna Ministries International said. “They scoured the grounds looking for Bibles, interrogated children and staff members and announced that the parents had seven hours to pack and say goodbye to their adopted children. All fifteen of the foster parents, the only parents these children have ever known, were deported before nightfall, leaving the 33 children with the police.”
Following this raid, government authorities reportedly targeted believers across Morocco. “When [authorities] visited an American-founded orphanage in the town of Azrou, they drew several young children aside and demanded they demonstrate the ‘proper’ way to pray,” Smyrna Ministries International added. “In Marrakesh, authorities arrested a Korean-born Protestant pastor during his Sunday service, and in the northern city of Larache they deported an Egyptian church leader.”
Christians in Morocco believe the crackdown is due to two newly appointed government officials who took office in January. Interior Minister Tayeb Cherkaoui recently issued a press release stating, “[Christians] are guilty of trying to undermine the faith of Muslims.”
The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray for Moroccan believers who have lost their pastors and face interrogation. Pray that God will protect and comfort the orphans from Village of Hope and that they will receive the love and care they need. Pray that the deported Christian leaders and workers will not give in to anger or discouragement but will forgive their persecutors.
Posted: March 30, 2010