For expatriate Christians, there are restrictions on being able to meet for worship, especially for those from sub-Saharan Africa. The extent of Christian persecution in Mauritania can also be familial. National disciples of Jesus face numerous pressures from family and community if their choice is known. Some are obliged to move to other locations within the country; a few feel obliged to relocate abroad.
President Mohamed Cheikh El Ghazouani
“We bring truth and love into a context riven with lies and fear.”
— Expatriate Christian teaching on development issues
History of Christianity
There was a church presence in the early centuries of the Christian era. Little, if anything, endured following the arrival of Islam. Westerners established an overt presence during the colonial era. Africans from further south also brought the presence of Christ. Today, there is a small Catholic community with a presence in Nouakchott, Atar, Zouerate, Nouadhibou and Rosso.
There is only one legally recognized Protestant church, which is designated for expatriates only. Many African Christians worship in informal fellowships. There are a number of national believers, some of whom meet for worship. For most of these fellowships, all members are of the same ethnicity.