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Photo: CIA World Factbook

France has taken decisive action by launching a military campaign against Islamist rebels that aggressively seized control of northern Mali last year. More recently, the militants have been trying to advance further into the south, posing danger to the Christians who were forced to flee to this area. With links to al-Qaeda, the rebels are also imposing a harsh version of sharia law in the territory.

Their attempted progression into southern Mali has sparked alarm. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced: "Obviously we are very concerned about the situation, and the development of essentially an entire terrorist region is of grave concern to everybody in the international community." French foreign minister Laurent Fabius further explains that had France not intervened, there was a risk that the advance could result in "appalling consequences."

The Islamist takeover of northern Mali has already had a devastating impact on the Church in the region. Christians have been driven from their homes, and all church buildings in Gao and Timbuktu were destroyed. Many of the believers affected by the attacks fled to Bamako, where they have been living in refugee camps. There is added concern that if the militants were to advance further south, these refugees would be left with absolutely no safe haven in their homeland.

Let's uphold the estimated 330 Christian refugee families who are in need of food, shelter and medical care. May the Lord also minister His peace and comfort to these displaced believers, many of whom are anxious because they don't know whether some of their family members are alive or dead. Ask that His protection shield the innocent victims who may, through circumstances, be caught in the crossfire and that there will soon be a positive resolution to the conflict.

Country Information

Mali map & flagPopulation
20,137,527 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Bambara (33.3), Fulani (Peul) (13.3), Sarakole/Soninke/Marka (9.8), Senufo/Manianka (9.6), Malinke (8.8), Dogon (8.7), Sonrai (5.9), Bobo (2.1), Tuareg/Bella (1.7), other Malian (6), from member of Economic Community of West African States (0.4%), other (0.3)

Religion (%)
Muslim (93.9), Christian (2.8), Animist (0.7), none (2.5) (2018)

Transittional President Assimi Goita (2021)

Government type
Semi-presidential republic

Legal system
Civil law system based on the French civil law model and influenced by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Court

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Mali

Ask the Lord of the harvest to send people to boldly share the gospel with the largely Muslim population. Pray the existing churches will remain faithful, never giving in to the pressure of those who oppose them. Pray that the church will display the light of Christ amid jihadist activity.


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Mali News

  • Missionary Executed in Captivity
    Beatrice Stockli - Photo: World Watch Monitor
    Beatrice Stockli
    Photo: World Watch Monitor

    In January 2016, Beatrice Stockli was kidnapped in Timbuktu. The militant group, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), has claimed responsibility, stating that Beatrice had "declared war against Islam in her attempt to Christianize Muslims" (read more

  • Raid of Three Villages Results in Tragic Loss
    Destruction of a church building - Photo: Barnabas Fund www.barnabasfund.org
    Photo: Barnabas Fund

    Suspected Fulani militants killed twenty-seven people in three predominantly Christian villages of Central Mali. The village of Tillé was raided on May 26th, resulting in the deaths of seven, some of them burned alive. Over the next 24 hours, the attackers moved on to the village

  • Militants Attack Churches in Northern Regions

    Niger River

    In late September and early October, at least three churches in the Mopti region have received "visits" from jihadists. In Dobara, the militants smashed their way into a church from which they removed crosses and furnishings that were later piled up outside and burned. In Bodwal, members of the same

  • Kidnapped Missionaries Appear in Video

    Boats in Mali

    On July 1st, a coalition of jihadist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda released a video showing six foreign hostages, including three missionaries, just hours before France president Emmanuel Macron made his most recent visit to Mali, offering help in support of the African nation's anti-terrorist eff