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Mali: bishops welcome French military intervention; feared Islamic rebels

Catholic World News - January 17, 2013

Catholic Church leaders in Mali have welcomed the military intervention by French forces there, saying that the advance of Islamic rebels had threatened the Christian community.

Father Edmond Dembele, the secretary of the country’s episcopal conference, told the Fides news agency that Christians “held their breath” as rebels threatened the government’s hold on power. He said that they now “look with hope” to a French military effort, although they are fearful about the impact of bombing raids on civilian populations.

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