Aug 25: Mali

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Republic of Mali


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Area: 1,240,192 sq km

Landlocked state. Dry southern grasslands merge into the Sahara Desert. The Niger River runs through the southern part of the country.

Population: 13,323,104    Annual Growth: 2.40%

Capital: Bamako

Urbanites: 33.3%

HDI Rank: 178 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)


Peoples: 62 (60% unreached) All peoples
Unreached Peoples Prayer Card

Official language: French. Trade languages Bambara, Fulbe, Songhai    Languages: 60 All languages


Largest Religion: Muslim

Religion               Pop %Ann Gr


Challenges for Prayer

Of the 60 indigenous ethnic groups, only five are more than 1% evangelical – the Bambara (1.1%), Bobo (2.9%), Dogon (3.5%) and Senufo (1%). All peoples are in desperate need of the good news; 35 of them are categorized as unreached. Pray also for the smaller (therefore often neglected) groups of 25,000 people or less with no or few known believers (Wolof, Fulbe Jeeri, Kagoro, Banka, Yalunka, Jahanka, Humburi-Senni, Pana, Tiemacewe). Ask God to reveal the right approach so that they might be reached with the gospel. Pray for a decisive breakthrough among all peoples.

There are a few strategic peoples among whom pioneer work has been established, but for which prayer is requested:

a) The Bambara are a key people for the evangelization of the country. Many agencies work among them, and most denominations include some Bambara speakers. There are small victories in evangelism but no major breakthroughs. Pray for the spiritual and numerical growth of the church among this strategic people.

b) The Fulbe (mostly Fulbe Maasina), who are often semi-nomadic, reside throughout the country but are concentrated in central Mali. Several groups of believers are discipled by workers from nine different agencies, including the Norwegian Lutherans, CRWM, Pioneers and the Eglise Protestante. Some solid foundations are laid for a more significant spiritual breakthrough among these peoples.

c) The Northern peoples are more strongly Muslim, yet hard pioneering work has resulted in some congregations and believers among the Tamacheq/Tuareg and Songhai.

     i Work among the desert-dwelling, semi-nomadic Tamacheq is often disrupted by frequent insurrections, but upheaval, desertification and urbanization create opportunities for the gospel. The Idaksahak, a distinct Muslim people living among the Tamacheq, appear responsive. There are now congregations of Tamacheq believers and a NT.

     ii The Songhai, once rulers of an empire, practice folk Islam with strong elements of sorcery. There is Baptist work among them, and the JESUS film and portions of Scripture – especially in audio format – are proving effective.

d) The Dogon, including 15 sub-groups, are known for their traditional religion with rich mythology, songs and masks. But many looking for alternatives now turn to Islam. The Dogon are more evangelized than most groups in Mali through the CMA, and they have a relative wealth of Christian resources (NT, the JESUS film, audio resources, holistic ministry projects); this unprecedented opportunity for the gospel must not be missed.

e) The Soninke group, including the four Bozo fishermen peoples, has very few Christians but are engaged by teams from many different missions. The Soninke presence across much of West Africa makes them strategic. A spiritual breakthrough amid all the ministry in Mali could easily spill into several other countries.

     For an additional 7 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Mali.