A Moroccan Christian named Mohamed el Baldi, who comes from the town of Aïn Aïcha, Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate, Morocco, has been sent to jail and fined 5000 dirhams ($600) for evangelizing and “shaking the faith of a Muslim.”
El Baldi, 34, was arrested during a raid on his house on August 28 this year and items found in his house that were linked to his Christian faith, like his Bible, were confiscated.
According to Article 200 of the Moroccan Penal Code, spreading or promoting Christianity is prohibited. The law continues that it is illegal for anyone to stop anyone practicing their religion by force, violence or threats.
However, el Baldi was punished much more that the maximum penalty for breaking this law which is three to six months imprisonment and a fine of 200 to 500 dirhams.
Apparently el Baldi converted to Christianity about seven years ago and he admitted to having two American Christian friends who had given him Christian materials. He also said that he had been present at Christian meetings held in the cities of Meknes and Rabat.
The mother of el Baldi was hysterical at his court hearing and apparently asked Allah to take revenge on those who had “tampered” with the mind of her son, according to reports.
Open Doors International, a non-denominational mission that supports persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries worldwide where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed, lists Morocco in 39th place on its World Watch List of countries where it is difficult to practice Christianity.
More than 99 percent of Morocco’s population, which is about 33 million, is Muslim and the rest is made up mainly of Christians and Jews. There are an estimated 1,000 Moroccan Christian converts in the country.
During the months between March and July in 2010, Morocco expelled more than 128 foreign Christians who were deemed to be “a danger” to the country.
Sources claim that Christians are being deported by Moroccan authorities for the basic crime of “proselytism” but in order to justify deporting these foreign Christians, the authorities have claimed that the foreigners pose a threat to the state.
Muslim religious leaders have backed the deportations by signing documents that say that the foreign Christians are performing “moral rape” and “religious terrorism” in their country.