Morocco (MNN) — The Moroccan government continues its recent crackdown against Christians with the deportation of 28 Christian workers since the beginning of May alone. This brings the total number of aid workers removed to as many as 60, according to Voice of the Martyrs.
Accused of violating Morocco's anti-proselytism laws, aid workers from the U.S., Korea, the Netherlands and England have all been forced to leave the country.
Adding to the government's sudden opposition against Christians, VOM and Smyrna Ministries International reported that police "visited the orphanage, Village of Hope, which has been operating with the government's approval for the past ten years. They scoured the grounds looking for Bibles, interrogated children and staff members and announced that the [foster] parents had seven hours to pack and say goodbye to [the 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."
VOM contacts do not expect this pressure to let up soon, saying if the government were to ease up for a while, they would simply come back stronger.
Initially, Christians were baffled about the cause of this sudden crackdown, but they now believe it stems from two new government officials who took office in January. One of the officers, Interior Minister Tayeb Cherkaoui, was reported as saying, "[Christians] are guilty of trying to undermine the faith of Muslims."
Despite this persecution, pray for Moroccan believers to continue to remain strong in their faith and not to give into anger or discouragement. Pray that they will forgive those who are opposing and persecuting them; pray that their attitudes toward the government will be an example of the true peace Christ offers.
Also, pray for the orphans at Village of Hope to receive the care they need.
Join VOM in their support and encouragement of these persecuted believers by visiting their Web site, persecution.com.