Published: 00:01 GMT Standard Time - Saturday 09 March 2013
Lent Prayer 2013 - Mali
Country/Region: Africa, Mali
“Horrible crimes have been made against the population: massacres, rape of women, obligation to wear the veil, chasing Christians,” a Barnabas Aid contact commented on a violent rebel takeover in the north of Mali in the spring of 2012. Christians were specifically targeted, and they fled leaving all their belongings behind as soon as heavily armed rebels started ransacking homes and vandalising churches. Half a million people escaped from the region.
Hundreds of displaced Malian Christians received emergency relief from Barnabas Aid in 2012
Many Christians went to the capital, Bamako, where they are now living in very precarious conditions. The south is also unstable after an interim government was put in place following a military coup on 22 March 2012.
Any Christians who were unable to flee from the north, a desert region as large as France, are now subjected to the control of various armed rebel groups. The most powerful groups are Islamists with links to al- Qaeda, entering from Libya after the ending of the revolution there. They have imposed a strict interpretation of sharia law and are carrying out executions, mutilations, stonings and other severe punishments. Women are lashed for not wearing the Islamic head covering.
Before 2012 Mali, one of the poorest nations in the world, was considered a role model of African democracy and stability. The large Muslim majority of 90% of the population practised a moderate form of Islam and allowed the small Christian minority (4%) to practise their faith in peace.
Barnabas Aid projects include:
Aid for Christian victims of violence (Ref. 34-1057)
This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church 2013” -.