So much for religious freedom in one of the world's most Islamic nations.
Word comes to us from Morocco that a judge in the northern city of Touanate has sentenced a Muslim Background Believer to 30 months in prison simply for being a Christian.
Morocco is 99.9 percent Muslim, and though government officials will deceive Western countries into believing the country embraces religious freedom, it does not. Only Muslims can evangelize in Morocco and leaving the faith--like leaving a mafia family--is not allowed; The only way you can leave is in a pine box!
Catherine, a Moroccan Christian I interviewed by phone, says 34-year-old Mohamed el Baldi of Ain Aicha was arrested Aug. 28. The judge in Taounate sentenced him on Sept. 2.
We've learned that Mohammed's activities were closely monitored prior to his arrest. Government agents finally decided to violate his privacy and burst into Mohammed's home, seizing about 30 Christian books. During interrogation by police (we don't know for certain if they beat him) Mohammed disclosed the names of other Christians from a Muslim background.
Only about 100 exist in the entire country. Under pressure, he also disclosed the names of several missionaries in Maknes, Nador, and Rabat who attended secret Christian meetings.
This is not the first time the Moroccan Ministry of Interior has arrested, imprisoned, or expelled Moroccans and foreigners for practicing the Christian faith. In December 2009, a wave of government raids led to the arrest of several Moroccan Christians and the expulsion of five foreign missionaries.
Watch our December 2009 CBN News report here:
Catherine, the Moroccan Christian from a Muslim background told me that Mohammed was denied access to a lawyer and he is spending much of his time in his prison cell crying. His elderly mother is also grieving and in tears. Catherine asks us to pray for Mohammed ( he is single), his mother and Moroccan Christians who are afraid that government agents may soon burst through their doors and arrest them.
Catherine asks, "Where is religious freedom in Morocco?"
Good question. We're going to see what the Moroccan government has to say about it. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, watch my interview with Moroccan Christian, Catherine here: