Moroccan Christians are demanding the new prime minister of Morocco, Aziz Akhannouch, fulfill their long-standing demands, including the ability to perform religious rites such as marriage in official churches.
In an open letter addressed to the new prime minister, the petitioners also called for the right to give their children Christian names, bury their dead in Christian funerals, and be provided alternative Christian education in state-run schools.
The Christians went on to stress that they remain “patriotic as ever” and committed to “defending Morocco against all enemies.”
Estimates put the number of Christian residents in Morocco at around 30,000 Roman Catholics and 10,000 Protestants, many of whom are African migrants.
Saeed, a Moroccan Christian, told Israel Today: “The new liberal government must take into account the presence of the Moroccan Christian component on the religious map. Christian Moroccans should be able to practice their religious rites freely and not be subjected to harassment.”
He called on the new government to adopt some of the demands of Christians, which he summed up as “allowing children to be called Christian names, burial according to Christian rites, and optional religious education for Moroccan Christians in Moroccan educational institutions, as well as the practice of religious rites inside churches instead of homes.”
It is noteworthy that the recent election in Morocco witnessed the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood, another blow for the group among many others across the Arab world. This is reason for optimism regarding religious freedom in the Kingdom of Morocco, especially after the normalization agreement between Morocco and the State of Israel a year ago. The trend is towards more openness in politics and religion.