Rabat - The U.S Department of State’s 2015 Report on International Religious Freedom, released on Wednesday, says Morocco restricts religious minorities by limiting the spread of non-Islamic religious materials throughout the Kingdom.
Rabat – The U.S Department of State’s 2015 Report on International Religious Freedom, released on Wednesday, says Morocco restricts religious minorities by limiting the spread of non-Islamic religious materials throughout the Kingdom.
The annual report said that Morocco has “oppressed” non-Islamic sects by limiting their rights to practice their faith freely.
The U.S Department of State estimates Morocco’s population at 33 million people, made up of 99 percent Sunni Muslims and 1 percent other religions, including Christians, Jews, Shia Muslims, and Bahais.
The report says that thousands of different religious groups live in Morocco. 3,000 to 4,000 Jews reside in Morocco, according to Jewish community leaders, including approximately 2,500 who live in Casablanca and 100 living in Rabat and Marrakech respectively. Christians are estimated at between 2,000 to 6,000 and there are about 10,000 Shia Muslims who mostly live in the north of Morocco.
The report notes that the Moroccan government’s arrest of individuals for eating in public during Ramadan is considered by the State Department to be a restriction on freedom.
The report states that the Moroccan penal code punishes Muslims who are found to have converted to another religion by six months to three years in prison.
The report also asserted that Morocco’s Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs controls religious-related issues in media, sermons, mosques, and education.
Edited by Elisabeth Myers