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Region Africa
Christian population 11 100 (0.2%)
Main religion Islam
Main threats • Islamic oppression
• Clan oppression
• Ethno-religious hostility

Total score






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Mauritania is staunchly Islamic and Christian activities are severely restricted, making it difficult for Christians to express their faith. For those who convert from Islam, it’s almost impossible.

Christianity is viewed as a negative Western influence, and Christian converts face severe hostility both from the authorities and from their families. Apostasy is legally punishable by death, although there are no known examples of this in recent years – but the threat remains. Converts risk expulsion from the family home and loss of livelihood; they may even be forced to leave the country. The presence of Islamist groups also constitutes a threat to those who leave Islam.

While Western foreign Christians are largely left alone, evangelism is strictly forbidden and can lead to prosecution, and activities are restricted to designated places of worship. Most Christians in Mauritania are from Sub-Saharan Africa, and they can face discrimination in employment, both because of racial and faith-based discrimination.

What does Open Doors do to help?

Open Doors works with local partners and churches in North Africa to provide leadership and discipleship training, livelihood support, legal aid, trauma counselling, Bibles and pastoral care.

Please pray

  • Pray that converts will be encouraged to press on in their faith, despite the dangers.
  • Pray for fresh opportunities for believers to gather and share their faith with others.
  • Pray for a softening of the country’s staunchly Islamic views, leading to more religious freedom.

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