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Morocco

Easter in Morocco

Morocco is a Muslim country so, obviously, Easter does not register as a holiday or holy-day. Although I did see easter eggs for sale at the local Marjane supermarket. Our kids wanted an easter egg hunt like some church did a few years back but I think this is more of a pagan fertility practise than it is Christian and have been trying to talk them out of it. If they just want chocolate, then lets just buy them some chocolate!

We have been known to occasionally attend a Christian church service on Easter Sunday but as far as we know, there aren’t any down here – at least, there are no English speaking services anywhere in the southern area around Agadir and below.

Actually, there has been a lot of talk last month about churches in Morocco where the pastors were arrested and many (I heard 70) foreign Christian-aid workers sent home. Time magazine ran a story on it. Bit scary, actually, especially the idea of turning up at church to worship and then getting arrested and perhaps tourists like us from Christian countries are worried that we might find ourselves caught in the cross-fire. I dont know. It may not be just a Christian thing – there seems to be a lot of bloggers recently arrested and jailed, along with others jailed for various reasons.

AND I STILL CANNOT ACCESS BLOGSPOT BLOGS on Maroc Telecom after a week of trying so the censorship extends far beyond those Christians who are always whinging and whining that its all about them when actually, something much larger than all of them is probably going on.

[UPDATE: i used a proxy – http://hidemyass.com – to visit A View From Fez because this blog, that seems to be blocked by Maroc Telecom inside Morocco, won the best blog award last year and I wanted to see what they said about the situation. Another interesting publication is a local Moroccan paper, translated from the French, in which a local religious leader accuses a family-oriented orphanage shut down last month, and its Christian volunteer workers sent home, of encouraging prostitution – which seems a bit weird to me. Does anyone believe this? And what will happen to the kids now that their parents are taken from them?]

So . . . we decided to just have a nice meal at the beach with lamb sausages and I would retell the Easter story of our Creator who loved us so much that he died for the sins of the world and was raised into life on Sunday – basic Easter story. As it turned out, a number of Moroccan kids were hanging around us and helping with the cooking and their parents turned up later on so by the time we sat down to eat, there was quite an extended family. I told the story but in English (I suck at languages) and so nobody really understood anything but it was a good meal and nice to have locals involved.

Why sausages? Dunno. They were easier to cook than a roast lamb.

Muslims also respect Jesus. The Koran tells them that they will be judged by Jesus one day. I am reading through the Koran at the moment and it is changing my opinion about what I have previously heard about Muslims and Allah. Its amazing how much Christians and Muslims have in common. I highly recommend everyone read through the Koran at least once. I am looking forward to visiting Fez and exploring the Sufi side of Islam.

Anyway, happy Easter from Morocco. AJ.

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