(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

The main entrance to Tahanint radio
station in Timbuktu, Mali.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

Three people were killed in Mali's historical city of Timbuktu on December 17th, 2015, when an unidentified gunman opened fire outside a Christian radio station known as Tahanint FM. The trio were shot outside the building just after broadcasting for the day. Tahanint, which means "mercy" in the local dialect, is closely linked with a local church and evangelical mission. Although the motive for the attack has not been confirmed, witnesses describe the gunman as a "turbaned Tuareg." ("Tuaregs" are nomads of Africa's Sahara Desert region.)

Mali's Christians are shocked by the recent shooting incident. "It's a Christian radio station that was broadcasting messages of peace lately," explains Dr. Mohamed-Ibrahim Yattara, President of the Baptist Church in Mali. "One of the young men who was shot...had just finished broadcasting, and his last words were about peace." Dr. Yattara then adds, "Insecurity is everywhere in Mali as the situation is very frail."

As a minority group, believers have paid a heavy price since jihadists took over northern Mali in 2012. During recent years, armed militant Islamic groups have ruled the region. In addition to banning the practice of other religions, the rebels have ruthlessly desecrated and looted churches and other places of worship. Thousands of inhabitants, many of whom are Christians, have fled to seek refuge in the south or in neighbouring countries such as Niger and Burkina Faso.

Let's pray together for the Lord's comfort to rest upon this shocked community and, more specifically, upon the grieving families of the three people who were tragically killed. Ask that His love and protection be experienced among all in Mali who choose to honour His name so those who seek to perpetrate such violence will also sense His transforming love and, as a result, turn from their wicked ways and acknowledge Him as Saviour and Lord. May the Christians encountering persecution in this country sense our prayers rising up in one accord on their behalf for the glory of our Almighty God who will ultimately render justice for all His people.

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.


Select a Region

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