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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)
(2018)

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

Leader
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

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    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

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