With tribal tensions -- Tuareg separatists and jihadist fighters from the marginalized Fulani -- Mali struggles to keep peace. Radical Islam also threatens stability. In June 2015, the Malian government and northern armed groups signed an internationally-mediated peace accord. The government has failed to make progress on this peace accord and tensions have remained. Although a secular state with religious freedom, Islamization severely hampers opportunities to reach Malians. The northern regions are home to at least three known Islamic terror groups and are nearly impossible for the government and security forces to police.
Praise Report Praise God for an initiative across churches from all denominations to reach the capital city with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray that many will receive salvation (The Bible, John 17:22-23).
- July elections were marred with violence, and outcomes were inconclusive resulting in a run-off election in August. Pray for the new government to be blessed with supernatural wisdom (The Bible, Romans 8:15).
- We call forth a season of greater peace and stability for this nation, and pray that the terrorist groups operating in this nation will lose power and control (The Bible, Acts 14:21-22).
- Pray that those involved in radical and terrorist groups will receive dreams about Jesus and repent and follow Him (The Bible, Job 42:5).
Chief of State: President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta
Head of Gov.: Prime Minister Modibo Keita
Evangelical Christians: 0.6%
Dominant Religion: Sunni Islam
Persecution Ranking: 24th
Life Expectancy: 55 Years
Literacy Rate: 27.7%
Population Below Poverty Line: 36.1%
Refugees Living in Mali: 291,615
Azerbaijan has been riding the line for years between democracy and fiefdom. Its New Azerbaijan Party is accused of authoritarianism and bribery. It imprisons corruption-busting journalists and human rights advocates. Friction with neighboring Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory has heightened in the last year. Both Azerbaijan and Armenia have been acquiring new weapons, causing fears for imminent war. Oil export revenues have aided the Azeri population, elevating living standards and increasing military strength. Yet, poverty and corruption plague the nation. Although Azerbaijan fell off the 2017 World Watch List, that is not because restrictions have eased. Raids and detention of Christians continue.
Praise Report Most of this nation’s Christians have become Believers since the 1990s. Ask God to grow the Church’s maturity and influence (The Bible, Colossians 3:17).
- Christians face harassment and intimidation from the authorities and many are given large fines for meeting as churches and giving out Bibles. Others have unsuccessfully tried to get their churches registered for years. Pray for breakthroughs (The Bible, Philippians 2:14-16).
- President Ilham Aliyev named his wife, Mehriban Aliyeva, the First Vice President and placing her first in the line of succession. Ask God to shake the ruling powers of this nation (The Bible, Matthew 24:1-5).
- The Council of Europe launched legal action that may see Azerbaijan kicked out of the 47-nation council because of its decreasing respect of human rights. Pray that pride, power and control will be brought down in Jesus’ Name (The Bible, James 4:5-6).
Chief of State: President Ilham Aliyev
Head of Gov.: Prime Minister Artur Rasizade
Evangelical Christians: 0.2%
Dominant Religion: Shia Islam
Persecution Ranking: 50th
Life Expectancy: 72.2 Years
Literacy Rate: 99.8%
Population Below Poverty Line: 6%
Refugees Living in Azerbaijan: 628,170