NEWS UPDATE: France deployed troops in the North African nation of Mali on Friday, Jan. 11, and retook the key city of Konna that Al-Qaeda had recently seized from government troops. In April Al-Qaeda took control of a huge swath of northern Mali. Since then Al-Qaeda has captured two-thirds of the nation and are now moving south to capture cities en route to the capital, Bamako. Along with France, Mali Prime Minister Diango Cissoko is appealing to NATO, the UN and the African Union for military help. In a news update, on Thursday Open Doors USA ranked Mail as no. 7 among the 50 worst persecutors of Christians. Mali was previously unranked on the list. Christians are already being severely persecuted by militant Muslims in Egypt, Sudan and Nigeria, and a takeover of Mali would threaten all of northern Africa. Al-Qaeda aims at establishing shariah law in Mali, which would make all non-Muslims second-class citizens and expose them to more persecution.
A TIME TO PRAY. Father God, You are the Almighty and far higher and greater than any power or authority in heaven and on earth. The prime minister of Mali is calling on the nations to protect his secular government from an Islamic conquest. But we call on You because You are far more able to protect not only the government, but all Christians and non-Muslims and moderate Muslims, and to preserve their religious freedom. Move on those who do not know You to value this threatened freedom and reveal to them that true freedom and protection are found only in Christ, for “if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed” (John 8:36). We pray for a great turnaround in Mali in Jesus’ name, amen.
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