Mauritania was the last country in the world to abolish slavery in 1981, and in 2007 it was criminalized, but did it become a reality? No! Institutions and practices in place for hundreds of years do not cease to exist with the stroke of a pen. In reality, slavery does still exist, but many, including government officials, turn a blind eye to it. The Haratines, a black ethnic group and half of the population make up Mauritania’s ‘slave caste.’ The rest of the population is divided between the white Moors and other black ethnic groups. The Haratines are at the bottom of the social class, and since they were born into slavery, many just assume that hard work, abuse, and a lack of education is their lot in life.
Many believe in a misguided interpretation of Islam: slaves are told that their paradise is bound to their masters. In fact, Islam dictates that a Muslim cannot enslave a Muslim. What can be done to correct both the practice and false beliefs? Education is the main key for reform – education for both the misguided illiterate Haratines as well as their educated counterparts. There is apartheid in Mauritania. There are white neighbourhoods and white schools, and black neighbourhoods and black schools. The major difference is there are few teachers as well as few students in the black schools, and the buildings have often fallen into disrepair. The autocratic government of Mauritania acts as a protector of Islam, and the State itself is a major source of persecution of Christians and their ability to hold worship services.
Source: Window International Network
- Illiterate Mauritanians, mostly of the ‘slave caste,” to have access to the truth of God’s Word and the Scripture (The Bible, Isaiah 50:10).
- Protection of Christian Believers as they find ways to share their faith and start a church planting movement in the face of a hostile environment (The Bible, Psalm 5:11).
- Efforts by organizations that are attempting to reach and teach the illiterate Haratines and enable them to know and believe that they are beloved children of our Heavenly Father (The Bible, Mark 6:34).
- Islamic extremist preachers and militants who are fueling hatred toward non-Muslims to have a Damascus Road encounter with Jesus Christ (The Bible, Acts 9:1-23).