(International) Mali: Christians Who Fled Terrorism Return to Ruined Churches
by Carrie Dedrick
Tue, Sep 9th 2014 11:00 am
Christians in northern Mali have returned to their homes after two years of living as refugees. Islamist radicals raided churches and communities in 2012, driving Christians from their homes. Christian Today reports that many have been able to return to the region, finding their churches desecrated.
Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Yattara, president of the Baptist Church in Mali said the government has not offered communities help with the rebuilding process. "So far nothing has been done. Actually, with regard to the current post-conflict situation, we have no means to undertake reconstruction projects. We can only rely on the generosity of people of good will to walk with us in these efforts of reconstruction."
International attention is currently drawn to Iraq due to the Islamic State's atrocious acts of persecution against Christians and minorities. However Mail is ranked number seven on the Open Doors Watch List for persecution.
Yattara said, "We had this feeling that jihadists wanted to wipe out any trace of Christianity in the north of Mali. But God in his goodness has not allowed such an eventuality.
"The church is still there and most of the believers have returned, albeit in very difficult conditions, without external assistance or the financial resources needed in such circumstances.
"And despite such adversity we are determined to resume our ministries because after all, this northern Mali is ours. We have the right to freely exercise our faith and we are firmly committed to make this happen."
Publication date: September 8, 2014