US lauds Morocco’s preservation of religious heritage sites

The US commended Morocco’s leadership in preserving religious heritage sites, highlighting the history of the country in protecting religious minorities and promoting inter-faith dialogue, US Ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback said.

“Morocco has done great work to preserve Jewish sites around the country,” he said in a speech at the opening of the first regional conference on protecting cultural heritage of religious communities, held in Rabat.

The US Ambassador recalled the righteous stand of King Mohammed V to protect the Jews from Nazi officials in France during WWII.

King Mohammed VI continues the legacy by espousing a vision of a diverse, united and pluralistic society, said Brownback, adding “It is important to note that Morocco’s exemplary work is supported across all segments of society.”

“We are fortunate to have such good friends and partners in Morocco who have been committed to preserving the cultural heritage of religious communities,” he said.

King Mohammed VI has put Morocco on forefront of global efforts to advance inter-faith dialogue building on actions in favor of protecting the rights of Christians and Jews living in Morocco.

“As Commander of the Faithful and defender of the faith, I am committed to protecting the rights of Muslims and non-Muslims alike”, said the Sovereign in a speech last March, noting that Moroccan Jews enjoy the same constitutional & political rights as their fellow Muslim citizens, and play a key role in the country’s economy.

In 2010, King Mohammed VI initiated a program to refurbish hundreds of ancient synagogues and Jewish cemeteries scattered throughout Morocco. Since then, the kingdom has spent millions of dollars to repair nearly 200 of these sites.

Likewise, Christian residents in Morocco and temporary visitors have always practiced their faith freely in churches.

King Mohammed VI has called on multiple occasions for working together to achieve a new world order for peace while stressing the need for coexistence and acceptance of diversity and difference.

The First Regional Conference on Protecting Cultural Heritage of Religious Communities is organized by the Moroccan Foreign Ministry, in collaboration with the US State Department and the Moroccan Rabita Mohammadia of Ulemas.

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