President Mohamed Cheikh El Ghazouani
It is illegal in Mauritania to convert from Islam to another faith. The restrictive environment makes it impossible for Christians (especially converts from Islam) to openly meet and worship together. Any expression of faith by non-Mauritanian Christians (such as migrants or aid workers) also carries the risk of being seen as proselytizing Muslims and can lead to prosecution.
Little has changed in Mauritania from the standpoint of persecution. Any deviation from Islamic belief is strongly opposed nationally, in communities and through family pressure.
Pressure on converts from Islam to Christianity can be very high, particularly in rural areas where tribal and family ties are especially strict. Violent Islamic extremist groups, like al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), are particularly active in the country’s eastern border regions.
Open Doors works to support believers in North Africa through distributing Christian literature where possible, providing training and organizing socio-economic development projects and advocacy support.