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Once an Islamic cultural center, Mali is a poor but growing country that remains nearly entirely Muslim. Although missionaries arrived in the early 1920s and have worked in most areas of the country, less than 1 percent of Malians are Christian today. Small congregations of believers continue to worship in towns known to be centers of jihadi activity. Several missionaries have been kidnapped in Mali or have been kidnapped and brought to Mali from neighboring countries since 2016. Most of these are still in captivity today. In 2017, threats by jihadi groups led some mission agencies to pull teams from the country.

Major Religions:

Most practice animism or Islam (Sunni), or both.


Extremist groups persecute Christians in Mali.

What It Means To Follow Christ In Mali:

During the 2012 civil war, believers fled to the south as extremist groups in the north sought to create an Islamic state. Churches and pastors’ homes were destroyed, but believers were usually not otherwise harmed. Christian converts from Islam face harassment from family members and society. There are open and active churches in the north, but some believers are leaving for the south as the situation worsens. One pastor was forced to leave after receiving several significant death threats; his wife is still dealing with related trauma. A few evangelists have been imprisoned for short periods after being accused of proselytizing.

Access To Bibles:

It is difficult to access Bibles. Give Bibles

VOM Work:

VOM provides Bibles, pastor training and safe houses for persecuted Christians. Give to VOM’s Global Ministry

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for the protection of two pastors who have received death threats.
  • Pray that Christians in the south will encourage their persecuted brothers and sisters in the north.
  • Pray that Christian converts from Islam will boldly share the gospel.
  • Pray for stability in the north so displaced Christians can return.
  • Pray for the perseverance of Christians in the north, where ethnic tensions have increased.
  • Pray that the church will display the light of Christ amid jihadist activity.
  • Pray for Christian children who must attend Islamic schools in the north.