World Watch List Rank28
World Watch List Score67/100
LeaderInterim President Bah Ndaw
Population20,284,000 | 467,000 Christians
Main ReligionIslam
WWL Rank in 202029
Persecution LevelVery High Persecution

When Islamic extremist groups took control of the northern part of the country in 2012, churches were burned and Christians were forced to flee. Although some Christians have returned to the north under police protection, they still live under the threat of attack by Islamic militants.  
Evangelistic activities in the north are especially risky and could lead to attacks from extremists. Missionaries operating in Mali also live under the constant threat of abduction and some have indeed been kidnapped. Converts risk violence and pressure from their relatives and family.  
Extremists used the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic to assert more control in some parts of Mali. As these groups often particularly target Christians, this is a worrying trend for Christians.   


Mali rose one rank in the 2021 World Watch List from the 2020 List. Persecution remains very high in Mali, particularly violent persecution, which increased last year. In 2020, deeply disturbing attacks by jihadists left scores of Christians dead. The risk of violence for followers of Jesus in Mali is very real.     


In partnership with the local church, Open Doors serves vulnerable Christians in Mali by providing Bibles, training pastors and believers in the various aspects of Christian life and ministry, and offering socio-economic aid to persecuted Christians. Through local partnerships, Open Doors also assists with persecution preparedness training, Bible distribution and literacy training. 


Pray for the interim government that took over the country in mid-2020. May they govern diligently and protect all of their citizens.

Pray God will soften their hearts of Islamic extremist and give them ears to hear and eyes to see His gospel and grace.

Pray for Malian Christians who are exhausted simply from living under constant threats, discrimination and persecution. Pray for these believers to be renewed by the Holy Spirit.