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#14 in Christian Persecution, Mali


Christian population497 000 (2%)

Main religionIslam

Main threats• Islamic oppression

• Organised corruption and crime

• Clan oppression

Total score







The Islamic extremist insurgency that devastated the north of Mali in 2012 continues to have huge implications for the country’s small number of Christians. Churches were burned down, and many Christians lost their homes and had to flee the region. Although some Christians and congregations have returned under police protection, they still live under the threat of attack.

Those living in areas controlled by militants have been denied access to water and land to grow crops. Believers who engage in evangelistic activities in the north are especially vulnerable to violence, while Christian missionaries live under the constant threat of abduction by jihadists. Those who leave Islam to follow Jesus risk violence and pressure from their relatives and communities if their new faith is discovered.

The jihadist violence is spreading southward, and the country’s institutions are breaking apart at a fast rate, further playing into the hands of jihadist groups. The country has also become a geopolitical battleground between the west and east, making Christians vulnerable to government-related persecution.

Meet Adama

“We’re living under great threats in our area (Northern Mali). The fear is increasing every day. There are abductions, all kinds of attacks and banditry even in the city… Please pray for us that God will keep His children safe.”

Adama (name changed), pastor of a church in Gao.

What does Open Doors do to help?

Open Doors works through local church partners in Mali to provide persecution survival training, discipleship programmes and economic empowerment projects.

Please pray

  • Pray for courage and safety for Christians living at risk of attack from Islamic militants.

  • Pray that those affected by persecution will have a profound experience of God’s comfort.

  • Pray that elections will go ahead this year, leading to stronger, just governance in Mali.

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