OUJDA, Morocco (AFP) – Morocco has expelled five foreign Christian missionaries for holding “undeclared meetings” in the mainly Muslim north African kingdom, police said on Tuesday.
Police at Oujda in northeast Morocco also accused the five of “evangelist proselytism,” or missionary preaching, according to a source contacted by AFP. The five were expelled on Saturday.
Two of the foreigners came from South Africa, two from Switzerland and one from Guatemala. They were part of a group that also included 12 Moroccans, who were freed the same day.
The whole group was arrested on Friday during a raid on a house in Saidia, a seaside resort 70 kilometres (45 miles) north of Oudja.
Three of the foreigners — the two Swiss and the Guatemalan — were “sent out through the frontier post with Melilla,” one of the Spanish enclaves on Morocco’s coast.
The two South Africans, who already had airline tickets, were taken to Casablanca airport, the police source told AFP.
Last March, four Spaniards and a German woman were similarly expelled after they held a missionary meeting with Moroccan nationals, according to a statement from the ministry of the interior.