Moroccans Are Free to Convert to Another Religion Justice Minister

Rabat – Morocco’s Justice Minister, Mustapha Ramid, announced that citizens are free to choose their religion, saying that the law only punishes forced conversions.Moroccan citizens wishing to convert to another religion are allowed to choose another religion without having to fear going to jail, said Minister Mustapha Ramid during a conference, held on Monday in Rabat.“There is no article in the Moroccan criminal code that punishes converting to another religion,” Mustapha Ramid said. He went on to add that though the Moroccan constitution guarantees religious freedom, but any attempt to force someone to convert to another religion, or to shake the faith of Muslims is punished under Article 220 of the criminal code.“Under the article, a proselytizer may face six months to three years prison and a fine of 100 to 500 Dirhams for using the means of seduction in order to convert a Muslim to another religion, either by exploiting his/her weakness or his/her needs, or using for these purposes education, health, asylums and orphanage institutions,” Ramid explained.The Minister of Justice admitted that arrests of citizens for converting did happen across Morocco, but said that they were all released after police made sure they were not forced to change their faith.In January 2015, a man made the headlines in Morocco after he was arrested in Fez on grounds that he converted to Christianity.Mustapha Ramid confirmed during the conference that he intervened in this case and gave instructions to release him.He said that the man was released after being interrogated for eleven hours, mainly about his beliefs, his movements, and the organization that paid for his travel expenses.Edited by Timothy Filla  © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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