|Persecution Type:||Islamic oppression|
|Persecution Level:||Very High|
|Leader:||President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita|
Last year, northern Mali saw a rise in violent incidents, including attacks and kidnappings. While the majority of Malians traditionally practice a relatively tolerant version of Islam, increasing radicalization continues to pressure and physically harm the lives of Christians and their churches. This radicalization has led to intensifying violence against Christians from jihadist groups, such as Al Qaeda, and from criminal organizations that have allied themselves with radical Islamic rebel groups and target Christians. In the northern region, evangelistic activities are especially risky and could lead to attacks by radical Muslims.
With the proliferation of jihadist groups like Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, the vast territory of Mali not under effective government control is becoming a sanctuary for Islamic militants who are a threat to the security of the entire region. Located in one of the hotbed regions for jihadists, the situation in Mali is part of the overall rise of Islamic militancy in the entire region.
In Mali, Christians are experiencing an increase in violence and hostility, especially those who openly share their faith. Believers from a Muslim background particularly suffer the trauma of rejection and intimidation from their families. Plus, traditional and cultural norms mean that many Christian women and girls are subjected to sexual abuse, forced marriage, under-age marriage, and are denied access to modern education. Christian missionaries operating in Mali live under the constant threat of abduction, and some have been kidnapped by jihadists. Some kidnapped missionaries are still held hostage.
In March 2019, more than 100 people were killed in attacks by Islamic militants. Reportedly, most of the victims were Christians.
In June 2019, more than 90 people were killed in Sobame Da, a mainly Christian village in central Mali’s Mopti region.
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