Christians, Muslims, and followers of traditional African religions lived peaceably in Mali for centuries, until war erupted in 2012. Tuareg rebels, aiming to establish an independent Islamic state in northern Mali, formed an alliance with radical Islamists. Jihadists quickly gained control, and hundreds of thousands were forced to flee.
In 2013, they attempted to take southern Mali and convert the state into a radical Islamist theocracy, but they were swiftly defeated by a military intervention staged by France and the United Nations.
But Mali has not recovered from the war. To this day, it affects the lives of 200,000 local Catholics. In the north, it is nearly impossible for the Church to function normally, as the rebels destroyed most Christian structures. Conditions are somewhat improved in the south, though there are still reports of violence.
Despite this, Mali’s Catholic community has grown.
The lively parish of Yasso, dedicated to St. Therese of Lisieux, has 5,000 members and includes about 40 villages. But while it continues to expand, it lacks an adequate place of worship. There is only one small chapel, and it barely withstands the Mali rain.
They have started construction on a permanent church, large enough to accommodate 2,000 people. The walls are standing, but they cannot afford a roof.
The parish has turned to ACN for help, and we have promised them $55,400.
Will you give so that the Catholics of Mali can finally complete their church?
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.