Fill 1






Persecution Type

Islamic oppression



Persecution Level

Very High






Semi-presidential republic


Transitional President President Assimi Goïta

Profile of Persecution

Violence 15.0/16.7
Church Life 12.8/16.7
National Life 10.3/16.7
Community Life 13.9/16.7
Family Life 8.2/16.7
Private Life 9.4/16.7

What does persecution look like in Mali?

Ten years ago in northern Mali, churches were burned and Christians were forced to flee for their lives when Islamic extremist groups took control of the region. Though some Christians have trickled back in with police protection, there are areas where there are no Christians. The trauma lingers, and the threat of attack still hangs over Christians, making evangelistic activities especially risky. Such programs can draw the attention of jihadists, and Christian missionaries live under the constant fear of abduction. Anyone who converts from Islam risks personal violence and pressure from their relatives if their faith is discovered. Northern Mali is also unsafe for non-governmental organizations.

Meet “Naomi”

“More than once, my family sent jihadists to my house to kill [or at least intimidate] us. Their plans never worked. But one day, while my husband was on a business trip, he was gunned down. He was killed for his faith and for marrying an ex-Muslim. His colleagues delivered the terrible news to me. [Even now], I have no idea what happened to his body.”

What has changed in Mali?

The situation in Mali has become complex, and it’s difficult to distinguish clearly between religious-based and ethnic-based violence. Pressure and violence are both significant threats for believers. Though violence slightly decreased since last year’s list, pressure from the community and against the church have both risen.

Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

Christians in the northern regions of Mali—where jihadists and extremist Muslim Fulani herdsmen are active—experience the most difficulties for their faith. To some extent, there are small pockets of intense persecution in the southern part of the country as well. Converts from Islam are particularly targeted.

What does Open Doors do to help?

Open Doors works through local partners to provide persecution-preparedness training, Bibles, literacy training and leadership training for both pastors and believers in various aspects of Christian life and ministry. In times of need, we also assist vulnerable Christians with socio-economic aid.

Population statistic: Johnson T M and Zurlo G A, eds., World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed April 2021).

Pray for Mali

  • Pray for the stability and normalization of life in Mali, which are critical to suppressing extremist groups and returning peace to communities.
  • Lift up believers who have been internally displaced by violence in the northern part of Mali and have attempted to start their lives in new areas after losing everything. Ask God to comfort their hearts in their loss and support them through the ministry of believers in their midst.
  • Pray for our local partners who seek out and minister to Christians who need aid, trauma counseling, Bibles and persecution-preparedness training. Pray for wisdom and insight as they interact with others and assess the needs.



Stories from Mali

January 31, 2022

The top 5 trends from the 2022 World Watch List

Read More -

January 18, 2021

13 Christians murdered for following Jesus—every day

Read More -

January 14, 2021

Betrayed, watched and martyred: 5 major trends in persecution against Christians

Read More -