Rabat- Morocco’s Ministry of Interior prohibited some religious rights activists from hosting an interreligious ftour (breaking fast) and reciting maghrib (sunset) prayer calls tonight at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rabat.
The Moroccan Association for Religious Rights and Freedoms announced earlier that it will host a number of religious personalities from the three Abrahamic faiths— Christianity, Judaism, and Islam—for ftour inside the Catholic church in Rabat, to promote tolerance and interfaith dialogue.
Members of the three religions were intending to lead speeches or sermons the Tuesday evening following Laylat Al Qadr (the night of decree), celebrated on the 27th day in Ramadan.
The program included raising the azan (prayer call) before breaking the fast in the church.
The announcement caused widespread online controversy in recent days, as some Moroccans criticized the unprecedented initiative and deemed it “suspicious.”
Christian rights activist Mohammed Said told Moroccan news outlet Hespress that such events are “superficial” with hidden agendas: ““We [Christians] want to practise our religion freely just like the rest of Moroccans…such events would only serve in creating media hype rather than serve the cause of Moroccan Christians.”
Recently, rumors that the religious rights association intends to hold protests near the Parliament when Pope Francis arrives in the country have been circulated by Moroccan press.
A Moroccan Christian convert couple were also reported to be waiting for Pope Francis’s official visit to Morocco to get married.
Moroccan Christians are a religious minority in Morocco. According to US State Department, Christian leaders in Morocco estimate there are 2,000 to 6,000 Christian converts in Morocco who try to keep a low profile, fearing social judgement.