During the 40 days of Lent I’m committed to praying each day for Christians in the 40 countries where the cost of being a follower of Christ is highest. I invite you to do the same. The information on the prayer needs of each country comes from a combination of Open Doors, Barnabas Fund and Operation World.
Today we are Praying for Mauritania
A poor country in North West Africa consisting largely of desert Mauritania is one of the most difficult and dangerous places to be a Christian. Islam has been well-established for a thousand years and is the ‘religion of the people and of the state’. Mauritania is one of the world’s neediest countries. One-third of children face chronic malnourishment, and many families struggle to afford basic necessities. Widespread divorce also causes social difficulties. Desertification threatens the remaining arable land, which amounts to perhaps only 1% of the total land area. The discovery of oil and new mineral reserves could either bring wealth to the country or increase corruption and the divide between rich and poor.
Challenge for Prayer
Many are the barriers to change – laws hindering proclamation of the gospel, powerful social resistance to change, an historic reluctance to engage with the outside world, geographical isolation, low literacy and minimal exposure to Christians and Christian media. Pray for greater spiritual openness and hunger for God. World Vision, Caritas, the Lutherans and others are working in development as well as with issues such as AIDS, human rights and environmental protection.
Citizens are Muslims by default. The government restricts the evangelisation of Muslims and the distribution of non-Islamic religious materials. Conversion to another religion is punishable by death. Extremist group al-Qaeda in the Maghreb is gaining support and is also monitoring Christians in the country. In 2020 a young woman was beaten and burned to death by her family when her Christian faith was discovered. Over 20 Christians – some with children – received dead threats and most had to flee their homes to escape a similar fate.
- Pray for the protection of Mauritanian Christians
- Pray for those with spiritual hunger, that the Lord would reveal Himself to them despite their lack of opportunity to hear the Gospel.
- Pray for political stability and wisdom for the government to enable revenues from Mauritania’s natural resources to benefit the poor.