It’s an all too familiar story. It’s illegal for Mauritanians to convert from Islam to Christianity. It’s seen as a betrayal of tribe and family.

Christians in Mauritania often have to keep their faith completely secret. Ostracism from one’s family and community wouldn’t just mean disgrace – it could mean death. This is a nomadic society. When you live on the edge of the Sahara desert, the extended family is necessary for survival.

It’s almost impossible to meet together to worship. The main reason that Mauritania isn’t higher up the World Watch List is that there are few reports of anti-Christian violence in the country. Or we may just not hear of them.

Mauritania is slavery’s last stronghold. Slavery was first made a crime in 2007 and only one person has been successfully prosecuted.

Up to 20% of the country still lives in slavery—hundreds of thousands of men, women and children endure appalling suffering as part of everyday life. Here we are talking mainly about Muslims, not Christians.