Open Doors, July 2019
In Burkina Faso, peace has been shattered and the country is under attack.
It’s the scale and speed which has taken people by surprise. A country previously known for peaceful coexistence between different religious and ethnic groups has descended into chaos with the incursion of extremist Muslim groups. In the northern and eastern parts of Burkina Faso they are loudly proclaiming their allegiance to so-called Islamic State and raising new fantasies of a caliphate.
The church has been targeted. In the space of four months, seven targeted attacks have claimed the lives of 23 Christians. An unknown number of pastors and their families have been kidnapped and remain in captivity. On 27 June, four Christians in the village of Bani were killed by an armed group who targeted those wearing crosses.
“The Jihadists started threatening the church by sending warnings to stop worship services in various communities,” said an Open Doors team member who visited displaced Christians. “At first, they said they were against women and men worshipping together in the same church. Then, in no time, the believers were warned not to hold any Christian worship services at all.”