There will no longer be mercy for those convicted of apostasy in Mauritania. A new law was passed on April 27th, 2018 by the Mauritanian National Assembly.
Previously, any Mauritanian who committed blasphemy or left the Muslim faith had three days to repent before they were punished. Penalties included prison terms or a death sentence. This new law sort of becomes more stringent – three days to repent disappears. Everyone is going to be punished. Even if you do repent, you are still going to be punished. And in the case of blasphemous remarks or sacrilegious acts, according to the law, the death penalty is now mandatory.
The Minister of Defence said: “What we had before was actually in contradiction with official Sharia code, the official Sharia law. We want to be as close to the real Sharia law as possible, so we needed to eliminate that discrepancy between the two.’”
Mauritania is a Muslim nation and while no Christian has been given a death sentence yet, this law is especially concerning for new converts. A mandatory death sentence for apostasy could cause someone who is considering following Jesus to think twice.
Even though the CIA World Factbook reports that Mauritania is officially 100 percent Muslim, there is an underground Church presence. The Holy Spirit cannot be stopped at the Mauritania borders, and Mauritanian believers are living out their faith in secret.
- Their biggest needs are fellowship, to be discipled, the comfort of their families and a desire to express their beliefs.
- For Christian material like the Jesus film (in different formats and in the different indigenous languages) and Bibles to be taken into the country.
- For Mauritanian Christians to discover all the internet resources that are available to help them.