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Islamic extremists have driven all Christians from northern Mali

Catholic World News - October 26, 2012

Christians have been systematically driven out of northern Mali by Islamic extremists, a missionary priest report.

"In the north of Mali, all Christians were forced to flee," Father Laurent Balas, a White Fathers priest, told Aid to the Church in Need. Islamic militia groups have established a regime of Shari’a law in the region, he reports. Many Muslims, too, have fled to escape the extremists.

Many Christians have fled to the south of Mali, while others have found temporary shelter in refugee camps in neighboring countries. “It is very difficult to say how many there are,” Father Balas says. In August L’Osservatore Romano estimated that 200,000 Christians from northern Mali had found their way to refugee camps in Algeria or Mauritania; that number has certainly grown.

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