Morocco (MNN) — The North African nation of Morocco is overwhelmingly Muslim – 98 percent. Christians account for just one percent of the population, but most of them are foreigners.
Being a Christian in Morocco, especially a native Christian, is very difficult. For one, you can’t legally get married as a Moroccan believer. Only Muslim and Jewish marriages are legally recognized.
Sharing the Gospel with a Muslim in Morocco is also forbidden. Distributing non-Muslim religious literature is against the law, and even “shaking the faith of a Muslim” carries a prison sentence and a fine.
Moroccan pastor Andros* says since churches are also illegal, believers must gather in house churches.
“With these house churches, [there are] many challenges. You invite the people to your house and sometimes you don’t know these people. Sometimes they can be Islamic. Sometimes they can be against you. Also the government wants to control everything so they watch us. They watch our houses. They watch who comes to our houses. It’s not easy to be a leader of a Moroccan church.”
Andros has pastored house churches in Morocco since 2010, and over the last decade, he has seen God move in the midst of persecution.
“In 2010, it was a hard year for the Christians because the government kicked out many missionaries, and also they came to many Moroccan churches and they broke many things.”
“But the people in Morocco,…they started knowing, ‘Oh, we have a Moroccan church. We have Moroccan believers.’ So they started asking.”
In addition to increased awareness about Moroccan Christians, Andros says the Moroccan Church also had to step up in leadership.
Before the missionary purge in 2010, many house churches were led by foreign Christians. After the loss of their foreign church leaders, more Moroccan believers had to fill vacant leadership roles.
Today, the Moroccan Church is mature and growing as local believers reach their peers with the Good News of Jesus.
There are also many people in Morocco becoming disillusioned with Islam. Andros says social media has been a gift in recent years that allows Moroccans to ask spiritual questions without fear of censorship.
“We are using the media and we see how many people want to know about God. After the Arab Spring started from Tunisia and after ISIS, the people know the reality of Islam and they want to know about who is the real God. So we have many, many questions [from] many contacts from social media asking. We see how many people are hungry and they want to know God.”
Andros hopes Christians in the West can start to see places like Morocco and North Africa not just as hotbeds for terrorism, but as places where the Church is growing.
“Some people are ISIS, yes. But some people are believers, brother, and…a lot of people are hungry. They want to know about God. So pray for that and do what you can do to help this area to turn from darkness to the light.”
He also asks, “Pray for…God to save the Church in Morocco, and also to grow the Church. I don’t know the verse in English, but the harvest is a lot and we pray for God to send workers to His harvest.”
Finally, please pray for Moroccan believers who are isolated from one another during the coronavirus pandemic. Ask the Holy Spirit to encourage and comfort them in this time.
*Name changed for security purposes.
Header photo of a Moroccan mosque, courtesy of Junhan Foong via Unsplash.