Leader: General Mohamed Abdelaziz
Government: Islamic republic
Population: 4 million (5,100 Christians)
Main Religion: Islam
Persecution Level: Sparse
Source of persecution: Islamic extremism
Mauritania is one of only four official Islamic republics in the world, and its constitution recognizes Islam as the sole religion of the country’s inhabitants and designates Islamic Sharia law as the only officially recognized source of legislation. The terrorist group al-Qaeda is gaining support among local Mauritanians and is also attempting to monitor Christian activity in the country. Because of harsh government restrictions, it is very difficult for Christian ministries and Christians in general to operate in the country.