Throughout most of the past thousand years, Morocco has been ruled by a series of dynasties. The most recent, known as the Alaouite dynasty, dates back to the 1600s. Today, the Kingdom of Morocco is what’s known as a constitutional monarchy. This was established in 1957 by Sultan Mohammed V, after Spanish and French rule of the territory.
In the late 7th Century, the indigenous Berber peoples of Morocco (along with many other North African peoples and nations) were gradually dominated and subdued during the Arab Muslim conquests. Since that time, Morocco has essentially remained a Muslim nation. In fact, these days nearly 99.9 percent of Moroccans are considered to be followers of Islam.
In light of this statistic, it’s no surprise that the state religion of Morocco is Islam. As a testimony of their Muslim heritage, the Moroccan flag is red with a green pentacle (a five point linear star) in the center. This star represents the five pillars of Islam and symbolizes the association between the nation of Morocco and their religion.
In the recent “Arab Spring,” there were a number of protests and demonstrations held in hopes of gaining more power and influence for the people. Some success was had. For example, the nation now has a prime minister and the people are somewhat better represented in the government, although most of the power remains in the hands of the ruling monarch. In spite of this, the freedoms of Christians appear to be on the decline in Morocco.
In 2010 many expatriate Christians were deported and most agencies or organizations with any kind of Christian philosophy were shut down. In spite of this persecution, it is still legal to be a Christian in Morocco. However, the presence of an indigenous Moroccan Christian church is not tolerated and throughout the nation Christian activity is closely monitored. Morocco is currently ranked 39th on the Open Doors’ World Watch List of persecuted nations.
— Jordan Rowley, Spiritual Coordinator, Climbing For Christ
Location: Northern Africa. Morocco borders the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between the nations of Algeria and Western Sahara. Leader: King Mohammed VI (since July 30th, 1999). Population: 32.3 million. Primary Religions: Muslim 99.9 percent, Christian 0.1 percent (90 percent of those 0.1 percent of Christians are not native Moroccan)
Where in the world?
Morocco is located in North Africa along the coast.