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#24 in Christian persecution, Mauritania


SCORE


70.40


REGION

Africa


PERSECUTION TYPE

Islamic oppression


RELIGION

Islam


PERSECUTION LEVEL

Very High


POPULATION

4,908,000


CHRISTIAN

10,900


GOVERNMENT

Presidential Republic


LEADER

President Mohamed Cheikh El Ghazouani


PROFILE OF PERSECUTION

Violence 0.9/16.7

Church Life 14.1/16.7

National Life 14.0/16.7

Community Life 13.1/16.7

Family Life 13.9/16.7

Private Life 14.3/16.7


What does persecution look like in Mauritania?

It is illegal in Mauritania to convert from Islam to another faith. The restrictive environment makes it impossible for Christians (especially converts from Islam) to openly meet and worship together. Any expression of faith by non-Mauritanian Christians (such as migrants or aid workers) also carries the risk of being seen as proselytizing Muslims and can lead to prosecution.


What has changed this year?

Little has changed in Mauritania from the standpoint of persecution. Any deviation from Islamic belief is strongly opposed nationally, in communities and through family pressure.


Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

Pressure on converts from Islam to Christianity can be very high, particularly in rural areas where tribal and family ties are especially strict. Violent Islamic extremist groups, like al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), are particularly active in the country’s eastern border regions.


What does Open Doors do to help?

Open Doors works to support believers in North Africa through distributing Christian literature where possible, providing training and organizing socio-economic development projects and advocacy support.


Population statistic: Johnson T M and Zurlo G A, eds., World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed April 2021).

Pray for Mauritania

  • Pray for the secret believers of Mauritania as they seek to worship God. Their conversion is illegal, and their danger is real. Pray for the secret believers of Mauritania as they seek to worship God. Their conversion is illegal, and their danger is real.

  • Pray for a new openness toward religious expression among government officials. Ask God to open their hearts.Pray for a new openness toward religious expression among government officials. Ask God to open their hearts.

  • Pray that God would provide creative ways for believers to find and support each other in their difficult walk of faith.


Stories from Mauritania


January 18, 2021


13 Christians murdered for following Jesus—every day



March 6, 2020


A ‘living death’: How Christian women experience persecution



January 15, 2020


Every day, 8 Christians killed for their decision to follow Jesus

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