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Christian workers expelled from Morocco.

The Moroccan government has begun what amounts to an expulsion of all Christian missionaries. Considering that the speech of a Dutch politician said to be anti-Islamic, or a Swiss law to curtail the building of minarets, is the kind of thing that attracts extensive and often hyperbolic press coverage, one might expect that this Moroccan policy might be worthy of notice. Alas, aside from a few blogs and a handful of New Zealand websites, this outrage has gone unremarked. My brother Robert Cella has some firsthand experience in missions work in Morocco. Here is the note he wrote me about the explusion:

The children’s home that rests on the hills outside of the town of Ain Leuh, Morocco has been a haven for the marginalized orphans of Morocco for nearly a half century. Founded in 1957 by two American women dedicated to caring for the abandoned children of Morocco, the Village of Hope, has been a beacon of hope and healing to the orphans for over half a century — until two days ago, when the hand of the Moroccan government turned against it.

In recent years the campus has provided homes and families for more that 30 orphaned children, placing them in the care of dedicated expatriate couples who have committed to raising each child to adulthood. Most couples and staff have come as Christians, looking to ease the pains of the broken social structure in Moroccan rural life. The couples act, in all senses of the word, as parents to these children, calling them sons and daughters and imparting to each their own last name. They have taken the children into their homes and raised them as their own — a true blessing as they would otherwise be placed in massive state-run orphanages. In addition to taking up these particular burdens as foster parents, the Village also provides numerous services to the local community. They provide free quality education to each child. They provide employment to many of Ain Leuh’s residents — teachers, tutors, cooks, nannies, construction workers, and workers in the apple orchards. They host annual events including a summer camp that brings in hundreds of local youth to learn basic skills, give exposure to English language basics, and play games.

I was lucky to be a part of the Village of Hope in the summer of 2005. The charming hillside community rises up from the vast valley that separates the Middle Atlas Mountains from the Low Atlas Mountains in the central part of the country. I recall my first weeks being surrounded by happy children, who would play in the newly built playground after their lessons, only to be called off to supper by their parents. The Village was a home to three core families then, each composed of about 10 kids and their parents. Throughout the summer I watched as these kids interacted with the only parents they had ever known. I recall now how the distinction between natural and real parents was nonexistent to those kids. I also recall the joy of being a part of their summer camp, shuttling local kids in a broken down Chevy Astro van, up and down windy roads with the overcrowded occupants singing loud songs in their native Arabic.

In recent days the news has come down that this charitable community, at the whim of Moroccan authorities, has been in effect shut down. The parents and all foreign-born workers have been expelled from the country, leaving children in the care of state authorities. Families have literally been rent asunder by the coercion of the state. It is an outrage to see this community, which has so faithfully filled gaps of the broken social structure, torn apart by bureaucratic caprice and the unjust fears from Islamic social pressures.

Contact the White House.

Contact the State Department.

Contact your Congressman and Senators.

Comments (9)

I don't really know what to say about this, though perhaps commentary on a blog is not the important thing. An old friend suffered a similar experience after years of work in Venezuela, after the Chavistas assumed power; they found it expedient to leave the country in haste once the rumour was spread that they were CIA operatives.

And it is here that we see the malicious hypocrisy of the Islam-Left axis. Violent ethnic cleansing is being conducted as I write this comment against Christian populations in Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, and Nigeria by Muslim gangs with the indifference of governmental authorities, and the liberal-left elites say nothing and care not one iota. The Muslims, which whine and riot over every time some Western figure makes the observation that Islam seems to encourage violence, have nothing to say about the forced extinction of Christianity in the land of its birth. Yet when the Swiss people vote to ban minarets, a display of Islamic imperialism, they are threatened not only by jihad-minded Muslims, but the evil pro-multicultural globalist European Union bureaucracy. Westerns are expected to accept the invasion of their countries by masses of third world Muslims and endure the Islamization of their societies, yet ancient Christian communities in Muslim countries cannot even live as quiet, apolitical minorities, much less call to their faith.

Robert and Paul Cella, thank you both for your concern and for raising awareness about what's happened. I'm not sure if I remember either of you--a face would probably trigger more than a name--but what group did you come with?

The article was acurate--both my parents asked me to circulate it, if you don't mind. It's covered most things we'd hoped to write about, and so, thank you. Very much.


I don't think the liberals are hypocrites here. If pressed, I'm sure any liberal would agree that the Moroccan government is in the wrong here. But Morocco is remote, both geographically and culturally, so expecting the same kind of reaction to this as to something that happens in France is a little unreasonable.

I hear the same sort of charge leveled at liberals with respect to Japan and its immigration restrictions that if duplicated in a Western country would lead immediately to cries of racism and xenophobia. The details are true, but again western liberals just care more about what happens in western countries because that's their turf. It's understandable; and I admit that I feel the same way.

It's extremely important that we as Christians resist staunchly any idea that there is something wrong with witnessing for Christ as part of missions work. Increasingly there is an idea that it is unethical to "proselytize" in addition to doing good works of mercy, that somehow children born Muslim must be raised Muslim, and so forth. This is all pernicious nonsense. If we believe that Christianity is true, we must believe in spreading it. That is the Great Commission. Christians do not need to defend themselves from charges of "proselytizing," as though calling people to Christ were some dirty activity to be avoided. Christian good works have always in mission work been an opportunity to tell the Good News. The fact that increasingly foreign governments are treating this as wrongful action is just a sign of the repressiveness and evil of these governments. They would prefer that the hungry were not fed, the orphans not cared for, and the sick not healed rather than that Christians be given an opportunity to spread the Gospel. They are despicable.


Thank you for letting us know about this. I posted a link to here in a short piece on this and related matters on my own blog.



I was sent to Morocco through First Presbyterian Church in Boulder Colorado. I was there with one other worker, a woman named, Kaela. It was the summer of 2005. What is your relation to the Village of Hope?


ingilizce eğitim seti kursu ders çalışma konusunda en iyi ingilizce dil sitesi. Kelime cümleler ve test ile ingilizce türkçe çeviri metin ve sözlük sunmaktadır.



You critisize Morocco for shutting down missionary organisation that does not respect local (country) law and customs, if any Muslim missionary did the same in usa or any other western country what will happen to the Muslim missionary...!!! I will tell you, the western countries will lock the muslim missionary up in jails for any length of time, torture them and send them back to their country with no right.
Before you point the finger on any other country have a look at yours and see what will do if it is the other way around.

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