Date: June 23, 2021
Mali (International Christian Concern) – A Catholic Priest and four of his parishioners went missing in Mali on Monday, reports LaCroix International.
Father Léon Dougnon , the parish priest of Ségué, Thimothé Somboro, the village chief of Ségué, Pascal Somboro, deputy mayor, and two other members of the community, Emmanuel Somboro and Boutié Tolofoudié, left their parish in the Diocese of Mopti to attend the funeral of Father Oscar Tehrea. The group never showed up to the funeral.
According to the National Catholic Register, Malian priest Father Alexis Dembélé said yesterday that “the group disappeared on Monday while traveling from Ségué, in the center of the country, to the funeral of Fr. Oscar Thera in the town of San.”
He continued: “We have confirmation that it was a kidnapping by armed men. It is a great concern for the Catholic community in Mali.”
While no group has come forward to claim the attack, French News Station RFI has noted that the region where the group went missing is “A stronghold of the Katiba Macina jihadist group.”
Open Doors listed Mali as the 28th most dangerous country in the world to be a Christian in 2021. Islamic extremists have been able to overtake areas with weak governmental leadership and have capitalized on vulnerabilities created by COVID-19.
HOW TO PRAY: Please pray for those who have been kidnapped, that they would return home unharmed and be reunited with their families. Please also pray for their abductors, that they would be drawn from darkness to light by the love of Jesus Christ. Pray for the authorities to hold the captors accountable. Pray for an end to kidnappings in this region.