Even though they bear Muslim names like Muhammad or Ali they are Moroccan Christians who continue to attend Mass in spite of the wrath of the Islamists and suspicions cast upon them by police.
‘Abd-al-Halim, the Moroccan Anglican Church’s coordinator, stated that “there are approximately one thousand of us who belong to approximately 50 independent churches in the larger cities of the Kingdom.” ‘Abd-al-Halim is a 57-year old doctor who converted to Christianity 16 years ago while he was living abroad.
“We have been able to observe our religious practices in secret,” he said. “However, for security reasons we are forced to operate like a secret organization. When an individual church grows too large (more than 20 members) then that church must be split into two entities in order to avoid attracting attention.”
When ‘Abd-al-Halim returned to the country seven years ago he was surprised by the increase in conversions. He stated that, “In the ‘70s there were 400 members. Four years ago there were 700. Now there are more than a thousand.”
Most of these people belong to the middle class, work in the private sector or are engineers. However, there are also artists, housewives, students and younger unemployed individuals. Christianity was spread … in Morocco during the 3rd century before the advent of Islam in the 7th century. Now Islam is the state religion.
The Protestant church began to spread at the beginning of the ‘90s, when foreign missionaries arrived in Morocco. Today there are seven free churches in Marrakesh, six in Casablanca, five in Rabat and one in Laayoune, the largest city in Western Sahara.
SOURCE: TONY ASSAF