|Last year’s rank||24|
|Population||21 474 000|
Around ten years ago, Islamic extremists took control of northern Mali, burned down churches and forced out the Christian population. The Christian community there has never fully recovered. They are still at risk of violent attacks, especially if they share the Gospel. Christian homes, businesses and property are still targeted, keeping many in poverty.
Christian missionaries and NGOs in the north cannot operate safely – there is a real danger of being attacked or abducted.
Political instability in the last few years has strengthened extremist groups and expanded their territory. This has put Christians in various parts of the country at greater risk. Militant Islamic extremists abduct people, kill them or keep them in sexual slavery. Others are pressured to join the groups, forcibly converted to Islam and made to fight. Some Christian parents send their sons away to safer areas to try to protect them.
If Believers from a Muslim Background escape persecution by extremists, they will still face pressure from their family to give up their new faith. This can include divorce, losing family support, social isolation and even access to their children.
“More than once, my family sent jihadists to my house to harm us. But one day, while my husband was on a business trip, he was gunned down. He was killed for his faith… I have no idea what happened to his body.”
How does Open Doors support our family in Mali?
Open Doors works through local partners in Mali to provide persecution survival training, discipleship programmes and economic empowerment projects.