As Canada prepares to help French forces staring down Islamist forces in Mali (see here for the full story), we’re learning more about just how much those Islamists have changed Mali since last March. For decades, Mali was known as an oasis of tolerance and a fairly stable country in a rather turbulent part of the world. That all changed in the wake of a military coup and resulting power vacuum that Islamists exploited.
Since taking over a large swath of Mali, Islamists have begun to impose Sharia law in areas they control, according to Reuters. The picture at the top of this blog shows a church in Mali looted by Islamists last September. As Reuters also reports, the non-demoninational Christian group Open Doors has put Mali, for the first time, on its list of countries where Christians face the most severe persecution. You can see that list here.