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The Maures of Mauritania

8 Jun 2016 – Day 3 

The Maures of Mauritania

Mauritania is a large desert nation with a population of Arabs, Berbers and black African people groups all meeting together.  About 70{1ef34f8f1cacfdc6c19f5319e487deec2393c82eacea09a13da7feed1a24e305} of the population speak Hassania and belong to the Arab-Berber Maures people group. One half of this group are called the White Maures and are made up of mostly merchants, noblemen, academics and other elite. The Black Maures, the other half, are descendants of slaves from Black Africa. The remaining 30 {1ef34f8f1cacfdc6c19f5319e487deec2393c82eacea09a13da7feed1a24e305} of the population represent various black African peoples living predominantly in the South and in the capital city.

In 1957, 90{1ef34f8f1cacfdc6c19f5319e487deec2393c82eacea09a13da7feed1a24e305} of Maures still lived in tents as nomads and no major towns existed.  A severe drought in the 1970s forced many to sell their surviving cattle and move to emerging cities, which have been growing ever since.

The Arabs spread Islam to the Sahara in the 8th century, which weakened the influence of the Berbers. In 1920 Mauritania became a French republic and reached independence as a state with Islamic jurisdiction in 1960. Revolutions in other Islamic nations have led the population to observe Islamic law more carefully. For most of them this seems the only solution to all problems such as poverty, corruption, slavery, injustice, drought, etc. And yet, socially, many still practice a nomadic lifestyle; still prefer to sit on a carpet then on chairs, show little respect for traffic rules; and are often married and divorced several times.

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Nowadays, the population of Mauritania is almost 100 {1ef34f8f1cacfdc6c19f5319e487deec2393c82eacea09a13da7feed1a24e305} Sunni Muslim and there are only a handful of Christians in the country.

How to Pray

  • Pray that this former nomadic people will find their way to Jesus.
  • Pray for those believers whom God has called to demonstrate His love among the people of Mauritania.
  • Pray that new Maure believers will grow strong in their faith and in courage to share it.
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