Christians in Mali Driven Out of Their Homes by Islamic Jihadists

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Recent Jihadist terror attacks against Mali Christians have forced many to flee their homes in Northern Mali.

Earlier this month, the Islamic Jihadist group Al-Qaida released a video of a Swiss missionary Beatrice Stockly who has been kidnapped for the second time by the jihadists.

In the video, Stockley is shown clad in a black hijab and while a masked speaker narrates charges against her.

“Beatrice Stockly is a Swiss nun who declared war against Islam in her attempt to Christianize Muslims,” the speaker said.

Al-Qaida demanded the release of their fighters held in Mali and leaders detained at the International Criminal Court at The Hague. Switzerland instead emphasized upon Stockly’s unconditional release.

A Christian man Moctar said that the recent attacks had forced him and his family to flee from their homes and take refuge in the West African country’s capital, Bomako.

“We lost our property and our houses have been inhabited by these extremists and our church was destroyed,” the man said.

ALSO READ: Mali: Christian Missionary Kidnapped for the Second Time by Al-Qaida

According to another man, François, the current Islamic assault is “turning this country into a no-peace zone.”

Ever since Islamist militants seized control of northern Mali in mid-2012, civil liberties and religious freedom have never returned to pre-2012 levels, according to the Christian aid group Open Doors. Soon after taking control, the Islamists imposed Sharia law on the northern city of Timbuktu as well as other areas of the north.

Mali gained international attention in August 2015 when Islamist gunmen stormed a hotel in the central town of Sevare and killed 13 people, showcasing the rise of radical Islam in the country.

AQIM had previously attacked Ouagadougou, the capital of neighbouring Burkina Faso and killed 29, kidnapping an Australian missionary couple. Jocelyn Eliot, the wife was released a few week back but the husband, who is also the surgeon in the hospital set up by the couple, remains in captivity.

Christians make up less than 3% of the population of this overwhelmingly Muslim nation.