A court in the city of Taounat , 284 kilometers away from Rabat, sentenced on Monday a young Moroccan man two and half years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of 500o dirhams, about 590 dollars, for the charge of preaching Christianity, according to the Moroccan website Hespress .
The young, converted years ago, admitted he has ties to a group of people, including two American nationals, who are active in preaching about Christianity. They provided him with books and CDs that he intended to distribute among people in his community in an attempt to convert them to Christianity.
The thirty-year old, who was arrested last Friday, admitted that he held religious meetings in several cities. He also confessed that he attended apprenticeship lessons, centered on teaching Christian theology. The lessons took place in a house in Meknes and other cities.
He further acknowledged that celebrations are being organized in favor of new converts in a home located in the capital city of Rabat. Additionally, he revealed that missionary members use encrypted codes during phone calls in fear of eavesdropping of the intelligence services.
In Morocco, voluntary conversion of Muslims to other religions is tolerated. It is not regarded as a criminal act, but the article 220 of the Penal Code prohibits proselytizing. Christian missionaries based in the area tend therefore to proselytize non-Muslims or to preach Christianity secretly among Muslim-background believers. The aforementioned article envisaged a punishment of six months to three years imprisonment against anyone “who employs enticements to shake the faith of a Muslim or to convert him or her to another religion”.