Taroudant - The Moroccan Cathédrale Sacré-Coeur (church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) located in Casablanca is among the most breathtaking African churches built in the 20th century.
Taroudant – The Moroccan Cathédrale Sacré-Coeur (church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) located in Casablanca is among the most breathtaking African churches built in the 20th century.
Built in 1930 when Morocco was still under the French protectorate, Casablanca’s cathedral was converted after Morocco’s independence to a school and then to culture center. But, now, it is reportedly “abandoned for pigeons. “
Designed by the French architect Paul Tournon, the disused church is regarded as one of the most “breathtaking” 20th century architecture in Africa.
Although the Casablanca church is no longer serving as a religious place, it is one of the tourist attractions of the city.
TripAdvisor ranked the church 17th among the twenty-three attractions in Casablanca.
Most of the people who visited the church expressed disappointment to see this “very beautiful church” abandoned.
“What a pity that this magnificent architecture is abandoned! The square that surrounds it serves as a football place for the youth and the visit is impossible,” A reviewer commented on TripAdvisor.
Among all churches present in Morocco’s large cities, only three Orthodox Churches are functioning: the Casablanca Greek Orthodox Church and a Rabat and Casablanca’s Russian Orthodox Churches.
The Moroccan constitution “guarantees to all the free exercise of beliefs”, but any attempt to shake the faith of Muslims is punished according to the Moroccan Penal Code.
In accordance with Article 220 of the Moroccan Penal Code, a proselytizer may face “six months to three years prison and a fine of 100 to 500 Dirhams” for using the “means of seduction in order to convert” a Muslim “to another religion, either by exploiting his/her weakness or his/her needs, or using for these purposes education, health, asylums and orphanage institutions.”
According to the World Fact Book, Christians in Morocco constitute approximately 1.1% of the country’s population.
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