Mali is a land-locked nation in West Africa with 18 million inhabitants—90 percent of whom are Muslim. Mali used to be a peaceful land, but since 2012 there has been unrest and conflict in the northern part of the country, stirred by Islamist militant groups. Violence and government instability have caused a rise in poverty and ethnic divisions.

However, all the tribes in Mali share a saying: “The stranger is worth more than you!” If you come as a stranger to a village, you will find a family to stay with, food and water. Even those who do not have much will share their food with a traveler. A foreigner will even get a local family name. That way they will be given a place in the society and be treated as someone belonging to the ethnic group or caste that goes with that family name.

But what really binds Mali together is the sharing of a small glass of tea several times a day. Every afternoon you will see the men gathered around a teapot in the streets, at the street corners, in front of someone’s house or outside the local shop. To make good tea is a slow process and, in the meantime, you can discuss family, politics, religion or soccer!

WAYS TO PRAY FOR THE MUSLIMS OF MALI

  • Nations are destroyed by corruption, violence, prejudice and extremism but built up by honesty, peace, unity and compassion. Pray the blessings of Psalm 67:1–7 over Mali.
  • Pray that many of the people of Mali will be welcomed into the family of Christ as described in Ephesians 2:18–20.
  • Pray for those working in Mali to share the gospel, and for more believers in local churches to be a light to their nation.