Three African villages largely inhabited by Christians were attacked last Tuesday by suspected Islamic terrorists, leaving at least 27 people dead.
The villages of Bankass, Koro, and Tillé in the West African country of Mali have seen a rise in local violence the last several years. This latest incident involved armed jihadists riding through the villages on motorcycles.
Most of the victims were reported to have been shot or burned alive.
The Christian relief organization Barnabas Aid released a statement explaining the ongoing violence.
"Since 2016, jihadists have been waging a war to occupy north and central Mali with the declared aim of establishing Sharia (Islamic law) throughout the country," the organization said.
The agency notes that 2019 was one of the worst years of violence faced by Christians in the region.
"Jihadi militants carried out murderous attacks in the north and central area, laying waste to Christian villages and causing hundreds to flee with only the clothes on their backs," it said.
? Mali ranks 29th on the Open Door USA's list of worst countries in the world for Christian persecution.