Christians Secretly Target Converts in North Africa

Islamic leaders oppose 'unethical' tactics
By Rebecca Smith Hurd,  Newser User
Posted Dec 15, 2008 12:03 PM CST
Though no official numbers exist, Christians say the number of followers in Morocco alone has swelled from 100 to 1,500 in the past 10 years.   (AP Photo/Alaa al-Marjani)
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(Newser) – Islamic leaders in north Africa say they are incensed by the tactics of Christians bent on secretly converting their followers, Reuters reports. Religious authorities gripe that missionaries in Morocco and Algeria are using “unethical” methods, such as spreading false information and preying on the weak. “People respond positively when they don’t have their full freedom,” one observer said.

Christians deny this, arguing that they stay low-key in order to set up schools or jobs for local followers, who face persecution by the government or their own families. Nonetheless, their methods aren’t always culturally sensitive. “The new breed of missionary doesn’t have the same historical training as the older established denominations,” one expert says, “so there’s a bull-in-a-china-shop effect.”