A church leader in Timbuktu, northern Mali, is thankful to be alive. In January he needed to visit Bamako for a national pastors’ conference. Traveling to the conference he had two options. He could take a free United Nations flight out of Timbuktu or pay to take an earlier flight.
Without understanding the reason for it, he sensed an urgency to leave the city as soon as possible. So he paid the money for the flight and left immediately.
No sooner had the pastor arrived in Bamako, than he started receiving calls from Christians, Muslim friends and others in Timbuktu, informing him that they had become aware of a plan by Islamic terrorists to kidnap and kill him that same day. The terrorists are offended by his ministry, deeming it “dangerous.” His sudden departure foiled the plan.
In the context of the mounting violence in the northern region, the return of the jihadists to the Timbuktu area and news of the plans against him, the pastor has decided not to return to Timbuktu, despite his desire to continue the work in this desert region of Mali.
He is now looking to settle in another region, but Islamic persecution of Christians is on the increase across the country. Please pray for the pastor as he resettles his family and ministry.
Mali is ranked No. 40 on the Open Doors 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.