Rabat - Moroccan officials have met with representatives of Pope Francis amid controversy over Moroccan Christians’ right to worship.
Rabat – Moroccan officials have met with representatives of Pope Francis amid controversy over Moroccan Christians’ right to worship.
A conference was held on Wednesday in the Moroccan Royal Academy in partnership with the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue to discuss under the theme “Believers and Citizens in a Changing World”.
High Moroccan officials took part in the conference, including the Academy’s Permanent Secretary Abdeljalil Lahjomri; King Mohamed VI advisor Omar Azimane; Head of the Constitutional Court Driss Dahak and the Secretary General of the Moroccan Rabita Mohammadia of Ulamas (official body of religious scholars) Ahmed Abbadi.
During their lectures, both Lahjomri and the President of the Pontifical Council, Cardinal Jean Louis Touran, quote the King Mohammed VI’s message to the Conference on “The rights of Religious Minorities in Islamic Lands,” held in Marrakech in January 2016.
“As Commander of the Faithful and defender of the faith, I am committed to protecting the rights of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The religious rights of Muslims and non-Muslims are protected in accordance with the aforementioned immutable principles, and their rights as citizens are guaranteed by the Constitution; there is no difference or distinction as far as the ultimate goals are concerned,” read the royal message.
The visit of the Catholic Church representatives came amid growing debate over the Moroccan Christians’ “emergence from the shadows.”
More and more Christian converts are speaking up, calling for their rights to worship, marry and be buried according to their adopted faith.
After a meeting with the Secretary General of the National Council for Human Rights, these converts addressed a letter to the Head of Government Saad Eddine Othmani, to draw attention to their situation as Moroccan Christians trying to live their faith in their country.
While a near official recognition of Moroccan Christians might not be on the horizon, the King’s message to the rights of minorities in Muslim countries and a recent revision of the state’s religious standpoint on reversion from Islam can be taken as indicators of possible change with the way Morocco will deal with its own Christians.