Believers from Muslim backgrounds will often keep their faith secret. In this nomadic, communal society where the extended family is often necessary for survival, it is a huge risk for a Mauritanian to become a Christian and risk rejection by their family and their community. If their faith is discovered, they may lose not only their status in their community but also their citizenship.
For these reasons, collective acts of worship are particularly difficult. Christian migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa or aid-workers who make any expression of faith risk being persecuted for attempted proselytization.
In Mauritania's tribal culture, leaving Islam is not only religious betrayal, but also betrayal of the tribe and family. It’s also illegal. Criticism of Islam they can carry the death penalty, though this law has been largely symbolic so far.
Mauritania rose 1 point and one rank in WWL 2020 compared to WWL 2019. The total score increased slightly due to an increase in the scores for pressure, showing how hostile against Christianity Mauritanian society has become. Mauritania’s low score for violence may well be due to a lack of reports on incidents getting out of the country.
Open Doors is supporting the church in the North Africa through the following activities:
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