World News

22 civilians slaughtered in Burkina Faso

Jihadist extremists killed 16 volunteer auxiliaries supporting the army in Namentenga province, Burkina Faso on 7 July. The terrorists murdered two other civilians in a village nearby and claimed four additional lives in a town called Fo.

According to the Norwegian Refugee Council’s list of most neglected crisis, Burkina Faso is the worst. The expanding influence of jihadist groups has a catastrophic impact on Christians. This latest attack is part of a widely spreading jihadist force which has displaced 2.3 million people in West Africa’s Sahel region. Radical militant attacks linked to al-Qaida and ISIS have been increasing in the region since 2015.

There are 5.2 million Christians in Burkina Faso, which equates to 23% of the population. They are frequently targeted and killed in villages, churches and workplaces. Hundreds of churches have been forced to close, and many more have been destroyed. 

Christians from Muslim backgrounds face enormous pressure from families and communities to renounce their faith. Many are afraid to express their faith in public or send their children to school.

A widow, Martine, shared her heart-breaking story. A group of Islamic extremists attacked their church and killed several men, including Martine’s father, husband, brother and brother-in-law on 28 April 2019.

Martine said “My father said that if it is because of the name of Jesus that people want him to flee, he will never flee this village. Even if it would mean death, he would die for the name of Jesus. He would not be afraid of what can only kill the body but not the soul”.

Martine is among 87 widows to recently benefit from trauma care provided by Open Doors local partners.  She shared “I have rediscovered joy through the teaching. I got peace of heart. The teaching has renewed my life. And it has renewed my strength. Since I received the teaching, the words of love that I heard, if I can take those words as example and have victory, I also want other widows to have the same. If the others get the same, I don’t believe hatred and troubles will be in our widow-hearts”.



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