Covert Crusaders

Covert Crusaders Evangelical Christians are on a mission to convert thousands of Muslims. But in Morocco, where renouncing Islam can lead to death, there's concern missionaries are stirring up a hornet's nest.

"Whoever changes their religion should be killed", proclaims Imam Sheik Lahsen Asanhour. Officially, everyone in Morocco is Muslim. To become a Christian means breaking the law. But despite this, there's a well funded operation in place to convert Moroccans. "To me, Islam is a false religion", explains missionary John Gerber. "People here are hungry for God. They want to know the truth." The government is particularly angry that evangelicals target the poor. "These missionaries come with a lot of money and take advantage of people's poverty", complains Minister Abdelhamid Aouad. Those who convert face being ostracised, imprisoned or possibly killed. "When I became a Christian, my family wanted to stone me", states one convert. But others point out that the threat posed by missionaries is minimal compared to the dangers of Muslims extremists. As one historian states: "It wasn't' missionaries who put a bomb in Casablanca but rather Islamic fundamentalists." (ABC Aus)

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