Morocco expels Spanish teacher for proselytising: report

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Morocco has expelled a Spanish teacher from the Western Sahara region for allegedly attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity, a Spanish newspaper said Tuesday.

Sara Domene, who belongs to an evangelical church, arrived in Spain on Monday after being ordered out of the region at the weekend, El Pais said.

She was officially expelled for "threatening public order," but the real reason was religious "proselytising", which has led to the expulsion of some 120 Christians from Morocco since last March, the paper said.

Proselytism is illegal in the North African majority Sunni-Muslim country.

Domena told the paper that she was only "giving Spanish lessons" in the Western Sahara's administrative capital of Laayoune.

In April some 7,000 Moroccan ulemas, or theologians, backed Moroccan King Mohammed VI after the expulsion the previous month of about 20 foreign missionaries accused of proselytism.

Domene told El Pais that local police had told her on Friday that the expulsion order had come from "higher up."

The Western Sahara is a former Spanish colony that was annexed by Morocco in 1975. The Algerian-backed Polisario Front is demanding independence for the region.

© 2010 AFP

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