10/18/2021 Morocco (International Christian Concern) – Morocco’s September 2021 national elections may suggest hope for the country’s Christians and religious minorities. The previous ruling party, the Islamist Justice and Development Party, only received 13 seats out of the 125 seats in the House of Representatives. For a decade, the moderate Islamist party controlled the government, after the Arab Spring.
In its place, the National Rally of Independents, a more liberal party, takes control with 102 seats. Aziz Akhannouch is the elected Prime Minister, a politician with a background in the business world.
“We are all excited by the political change. It is a new stage that is opening up in pursuit of a new economic and human development model in Morocco,” commented Moroccan academic Mustafa Akalay. A second-generation Christian commented on the new Prime Minister specifically saying, “Akhannouch is a businessman. He doesn’t care if you worship the sun or the moon. He won’t chase you.” Other Moroccan Christians “are very proud because political Islam came out of the government through elections and the pools and not through coups.”
With a less Islamist-based party in power, the hope for religious freedom increases. The Franciscan church has existed in cities like Tangier for eight centuries. Akalay commented that the new government should “respect for their beliefs and creeds, that is, freedom of religion and worship, which will favour efficient religious diversity and fruitful inter-religious dialogue.”
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