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Morocco: new constitution to recognize freedom of worship

Catholic World News - June 20, 2011

King Mohammed VI of Morocco announced a series of proposed constitutional reforms on June 17 that will be voted upon in a July 1 referendum.

The new constitution “supports the human rights in all aspects, including a fair trial, no torture, no detention, no disappearance, and we need to guarantee the freedom of expression,” he said. The new constitution will also guarantee “freedom of religious worship.”

Foreign residents currently enjoy freedom of worship. Moroccan Christians, while not denied freedom of worship, “reportedly do not meet regularly due to fear of government surveillance and social persecution,” according to a US State Department report.

Moroccan law permits Sunni Muslims to proselytize but forbids attempts to convert Sunni Muslims. In 2009 and 2010, the government expelled 150 foreign Christians accused of proselytism.

27,000 of the nation’s 31.2 million residents are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics; they worship in 36 parishes.

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