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American Church Leaders to Thank Morocco for Long History of Friendship and Religious Cooperation

Contact: Peggy Nienaber, National Clergy Council, 202-546-8329, ext 104

MEDIA ADVISORY, June 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- The National Clergy Council, representing church leaders from numerous Christian denominations, will hold a news conference at the National Press Club this Thursday, June 17, 2010, from 10:00 to 10:45 AM, to present their positive experiences in the Kingdom of Morocco over the last six years.

The three Protestant Evangelical ministers that will address the conference are members of the Council's executive committee. They have traveled extensively to Morocco and have engaged in a six-year ongoing dialogue with the country's religious, government and civic leaders. The group's most recent visit was in mid-May.

National Clergy Council president, the Reverend Rob Schenck (pronounced "Shank") commented, "Morocco is virtually unique in the Arab-speaking world. It has consistently topped the lists of religiously tolerant Islamic countries. Large numbers of Christians have lived and worked in Morocco for centuries. Hundreds of Christians continue to live in Morocco today. The relatively young King Mohammed VI has led unprecedented reforms in human rights, women's rights and family law. Of the more than 40 countries I have visited, Morocco is by far one of the most friendly and hospitable."

Morocco has been an ally of the United States since the Revolutionary War. It was one of the first countries to recognize the newly established United States. The US maintains its longest continuous treaty of friendship with Morocco. Today, Morocco is a key ally in combating global terror. US Senator John McCain was awarded Morocco's highest honor for his role in helping to free Moroccan soldiers held in Algeria for over 20 years, making them the world's longest-held prisoners of war.

Rev. Schenck continued, "You often hear negative reports about countries like Morocco, but you rarely hear the praise they deserve. In the interest of fairness and justice, the National Clergy Council believes both sides should always be presented. Morocco has been a long-time friend to Christians and Americans -- even when threatened for doing so. There's good and bad in every country, but what Morocco has done on the whole to advance religious liberty in that region of the world is extraordinary. We hope to present a fair and balanced picture of this unusual country at the Press Club on June 17."

National Clergy Council News Conference: A Balanced View of Morocco Thursday, June 17, 2010, 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM
National Press Club
529 14th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20045


The Reverend Dr. Rob Schenck, president, National Clergy Council and chair, Committee on Church and Society of the Evangelical Church Alliance International.

The Reverend Dr. Kenneth Barney, senior pastor, New Antioch Baptist Church, Randallstown, Maryland and leading African-American voice on Morocco.

The Reverend Dr. Harry Thomas, president, Come Alive Ministries International and producer of Friendship Fest, Marrakech, Morocco.