05 April 2010

Morocco ....expelling Christians

Look at the news today.

MOROCCO EXPELS FOREIGN CHRISTIANS
Moroccan authorities have deported more than 70 Christian aid workers in a nationwide crackdown including the expulsion of those caring for 33 Moroccan orphans. The Moroccan government is believed to be planing to deport more foreign citizens for alleged “proselytizing.” At the Village of Hope orphanage the government expelled 16 staff workers, 10 foster parents and 13 natural-born dependents from the country, within 24 hours of arriving to undertake an investigation of the orphanage.

New Zealand native Chris Broadbent, who works at Village of Hope, said that the separation of the foster families and the children was traumatic. As much as they hoped to be re-united, he said, that did not seem likely. Broadbent emphasized that government accusations that they had been proselytizing were unfounded..He said. “Right from the start they knew that we were an organization founded by Christians and run by a mixture of Christians and Muslim people working together.” Authorities gave no evidence of how proselytisation was supposed to have occurred..

In the 10 years of operation. Moroccan authorities had never before raised any charges about the care of the children. Another orphanage called Children’s Haven, has also been under investigation and sources believe its 20 staff members will suffer a fate similar to that of Village of Hope. “The action against the Village of Hope is seen as part of a nationwide crackdown against Christians living in Morocco. Local Christians are becoming concerned that the wave of intolerance may spread to the country’s small but growing church of nearly 1,000 believers.

Communications Minister Khalid Naciri said the government would be “severe with all those who play with religious values.” He denied the tougher line against non-Muslims was a step backward in terms of religious freedom. “Morocco will remain a land of openness and tolerance,” he said. Experts believe that attacks on the church are inevitable as the church grows and becomes more visible. “The government is under pressure from Islamists to curb the growth of Christianity and it cannot afford to be seen to be doing nothing about the problem,” said one expert.

Morocco’s accusations of “proselytization” by foreign aid workers apparently contradict its pledge to allow freedom of religion. It has affirmed the right to manifest one’s faith in worship, observance, practice or teaching. It has also said however that “freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject to limitations to protect public safety, order, health, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.” Last year a Moroccan government spokesman asserted that freedom of religion does not include freedom to choose one's faith by converting to another religion.”

Source: Intercessors Network

Wow, can you imagine if America or Australia went into a mosque and began collecting the leaders, the teachers, the enthusiasts and poured them into a police wagon, out to the airport, and sent them away to Morocco? Where is the UN at times like this? What a mockery of government freedoms.

All that said, we who believe in our religion enough to proclaim it need to be aware that extended freedoms can be withdrawn in a heartbeat. Don't count on any government to provide you freedom or to give to you. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, the Proverbs says. Don't lean on your own understanding. "Don't lean" means, don't even incline yourself to trust human understanding. If you think it's automatic, be advised, someone who extends to you a favour can withdraw it just as quickly. Only God is to be trusted completely.

And if they deport you or me, then we will have to preach somewhere else. And maybe that's how God gets us from one place to another. So be it. So we trust Him.

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