|Leader||President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz|
|Population||4 266 000|
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.”
With the growth of Islamic extremism in the country, many Christians are forced to live out their faith in secret. Persecution is most severe for those who convert from Islam. The country is dominated by Muslim beliefs. Becoming a Christian means more than just social rejection – believers lose their status and their citizenship. The country’s law allows for punishing a convert from Islam by death if that person does not recant their new faith within three days.
The Catholic Church is the only ‘legal’ form of Christianity in the country, but it is heavily monitored and restricted. The Church is forced to be invisible and operate in the shadows of society.
Mauritania is one of the poorest countries in the world. Access to community resources is essential to keep families afloat. In rural areas Christians don’t have access to things that can meet their basic needs. Their communities don’t offer them any help and families are disconnected from society. Finding employment is difficult and getting an education almost impossible. Christian children are harassed at school – discriminated against for their faith. The education system is very Islamic, making it difficult and confusing to grow as a believer. It is basically impossible to be a Christian and part of society at the same time.
Open Doors supports the Church in North Africa through discipleship, literature distribution, socio-economic development, advocacy, and raises prayer support for believers in difficult situations.