Moroccan laws and policies regarding religious organizations and religious freedom applied in the approximately 85 percent of the Western Sahara that Morocco administers.
The Moroccan constitution stipulates that “Morocco is a sovereign Muslim state, Islam is the religion of the state,” and prohibits political parties from infringing upon Islam. The constitution also guarantees freedom of thought and religious practice. There were no known places of worship for Bahai or Shia citizens. The government allowed Jewish and foreign Christian communities in Morocco and Western Sahara to attend worship services in approved places. Christian citizens in Western Sahara generally do not attend these services. The government discouraged conversion from Islam, and the law criminalizes attempts by non-Muslims to “shake the faith” of Moroccans from the Maliki-Ashari school of Islam, which the government has interpreted as prohibiting attempts to convert Muslims to other religions. There were no reports of significant Moroccan government actions affecting religious freedom in Western Sahara.
The Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO), a Sahrawi independence movement based in Algeria, administered the part of the territory not under Moroccan administration. There were no reports of significant government actions affecting religious freedoms in either the territory administered by Morocco or that administered by the POLISARIO.
There were no reports of significant societal actions affecting religious freedom.
U.S. embassy officials discussed religious freedom in the territory with the quasi-governmental Moroccan National Council for Human Rights during official meetings and visits.