*Representative photo used to protect identity.
“A referendum passed in May 2009 installed Islam to be the state religion, infringing seriously upon freedom of religion. The penal code prohibits proselytizing for any religion except Islam. ”
Any converts from Islam to Christianity can be prosecuted in court. Therefore, Muslim Background Believers (MBB’s) operate in underground fellowships. There are many Malagasy Christians (from Madagascar) who live and work on the islands. Only expatriates are allowed to operate churches in the country, with restrictions. Comoros has no other types of Christianity reported.
“The slightly positive trend that was indicated last year continues in 2013. New believers (MBB’s) have withstood a lot of pressure, and found some acceptance in parts of society. For instance, in Grand Comoros the MBB’s have to worship in secret because police, mosque leadership and extremists resist them. However, their relatives in many cases have accepted their new faith. In the region of Anjouan, the believers and their places of worship are often known, but nobody has bothered them.
This positive tendency is, however, balanced by a mainstream society that sternly guards Muslim rules and worship, and radical elements from Iran who eagerly correct any signs of the weakening of anti-Christian sentiment. Whether actively involved or not, government has, through the 2009 referendum, established the necessary framework for this persecution dynamic.