“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.” Isaiah 35:1
Mauritania, an Islamic republic in North Africa, is a vast desert; constantly hot, dry and very dusty. Its legal system is a combination of Shari’a (Islamic law) and French civil law. Independent from France in 1960, Mauritania has suffered from a succession of military coups and ongoing tribal conflict. A severe drought over the past decades has devastated the country. In 1957, a small fishing town called Nouakchott was chosen to be the capitol of the new country. Now there are more than 600,000 people living here. The capital has become a crossroads for many ethnic groups with nomadic roots.
Its not easy to be in Mauritania during Ramadan. Its hot and many religious people dominate the social scenery and social pressure is great.
Miracles Despite the Heat
A Christian who recently visited the country described the general situation of Mauritanian believers. “You can have freedom of speech, if you are a Muslim. You can have freedom of religion, if you are a Muslim. It is in fact OK to be a Christian, but it is offensive to speak of Jesus as anything other than one of the prophets.” In this setting God is doing wonders, despite the guards that sometimes stand at church doors to ensure that Mauritanian citizens don’t enter. God has given dreams to Mauritanians even in remote areas. In the interior of the country, an Imam showed the Jesus Film in a mosque. The Iman later died and the results are unclear, but such seed sowing needs to continue. By God’s grace, there are now Mauritanians following Christ in many countries around the world.
How we can pray :
- Pray for revelations of the love of God for whole population of over three million people.
- Desperate poverty plagues the lives of most Mauritanians, causing a sense of hopelessness and despair.
- Despite the grip of Islam on the country, animism is practised by most people. The deep-rooted fear of evil spirits (known as jinn) binds many people. Many seek supernatural help through divination and occult practices.
- There are often tensions between different tribal groups, (Soninké, Fulani, Maures, Wolof, etc.) which can lead to violence.
- Corruption is endemic in all areas of society.
- Divorce is widespread, and women and children often suffer the most.
More information about Mauritania that will help you pray for this nation can be found at the following websites :
A video to watch :