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Diplomacy in Action

Western Sahara


International Religious Freedom Report 2005
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
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The Moroccan Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right in practice. Due to continuing Moroccan administrative control of the territory, the laws and restrictions regarding religious organizations and religious freedom are similar to those found in the Kingdom of Morocco.

There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom during the reporting period.

The generally amicable relationship among religions in society contributed to religious freedom.

The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Embassy in Morocco, discusses religious freedom issues with the Government as part of its overall policy to promote human rights.

Section I. Religious Demography

The territory has an area of approximately 102,706 square miles, and its population is approximately 273,000. The overwhelming majority of the population is Sunni Muslim.

There is a tiny foreign community working for the U.N. Peacekeeping Mission in the territory (known by its French acronym, MINURSO).

Section II. Status of Religious Freedom

Legal/Policy Framework

The Moroccan Constitution provides for freedom of religion. Due to continuing Moroccan administrative control of the territory, laws and restrictions regarding religious organizations and religious freedom are similar to those found in the kingdom of Morocco.

Restrictions on Religious Freedom

Restrictions on religious freedom in the territory are similar to those found in Morocco.

There were no reports of religious detainees or prisoners.

Forced Religious Conversion

There were no reports of forced religious conversion, including of minor U.S. citizens who had been abducted or illegally removed from the United States, or of the refusal to allow such citizens to be returned to the United States.

Abuses by Terrorist Organizations

There were no reported abuses targeted at specific religions by terrorist organizations during the reporting period.

Section III. Societal Attitudes

The generally amicable relationship among religions in society contributed to religious freedom.

Section IV. U.S. Government Policy

The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Embassy in Morocco, discusses religious freedom issues with the Government as part of its overall policy to promote human rights.



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