WORLD WATCH LIST

Mauritania

#23

Leaving Islam to follow Jesus is illegal and could land you in prison.

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“Before I met Jesus, I was a Muslim leading a gloomy life filled with fear, fear of death."

– Secret North African believer

Country
Profile

Region
Africa
Sources of persecution
Islamic Oppression
Population
4,908,000
Christian population
10,900
Religions
Islam
Leader
President Mohamed Cheikh El Ghazouani
Score
70
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What Does Persecution Look Like?

In Mauritania, leaving Islam to follow Jesus is illegal. The law tightly restricts preaching the gospel to Muslims. Those who are caught could be imprisoned and even given the death penalty.

This environment makes it impossible for Christians to openly meet and worship together, forcing the church underground. Under the watchful eyes of authorities and communities, there is no room for baptisms or Christian celebrations. Most believers must live their faith out in secret.

Who Is Most Vulnerable To Persecution?

Believers with a Muslim background are often the most vulnerable to persecution, particularly in rural areas where tribal and family ties are strict. Those living in the country’s eastern border regions are also vulnerable to violent attacks from extremist groups like al-Qaeda.

While female converts may be deprived of food, threatened, and placed under house arrest for their faith, men more often face physical abuse and imprisonment for choosing to follow Jesus.

PRAY FOR MAURITANIA

– Pray for the protection and the courage of secret believers in the face of persecution.

– Pray that God will be changing the hearts of Mauritanian lawmakers and authorities.

– Pray that God would provide creative ways for believers to find support and share the gospel.

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