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ICC Note

Christians in Mali have been facing increasing persecution over the past two months. According to the Catholic bishops in Mali, Churches have been coming under attack more often and villagers are less safe than even just a few months ago. Previously, when these types of attacks on the minority christian population occurred, the government would send military personnel to protect them, especially at places of worship. This has not happened yet and is starting to concern church leaders.

 

2017-10-21 Mali (ChristianDaily) Christians in Mali are facing an increasingly dire security situation as they continue to be targeted by Muslim extremists in systematic attacks while the government does little to address the ongoing crisis, Catholic bishops fear.

Speaking to Jeune Afrique in an interview, the Catholic bishops’ conference’s secretary general, Monsignor Edmond Dembele, said Christian churches are frequently targeted by Muslim extremists in their attacks. He shared how the jihadists barged into a church in the village of Dobara and burned religious statues, the crucifix, and furnishings at the door, Crux relayed.

Starting September, Christians in central Mali have been beset by a string of extremist attacks. In Bodwal, the believers were driven out of their church and threatened with death if they continued to gather for their worship services, while other houses of worship were torched down.

For Dembele, the government is not doing enough to give the minority Christians some adequate security. Instead, authorities said that Mali is a “lay state” where all kinds of religion should be able to co-exist.

“We have no security program of our own and we rely on the authorities to provide protection and find solutions,” said Dembele. “On previous occasions, the government has deployed military units in our parishes. But this still hasn’t been done against these new attacks.”

 

 

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