Date: December 3, 2019
Burkina Faso (MNN) — On Sunday, unidentified shooters attacked a protestant church in eastern Burkina Faso, near the country’s border with Niger. At least 14 people are dead. BBC News reports that a source claims shooters killed the pastor and children. An undisclosed number of others were wounded. Currently, not much information about the tragedy is available.
Violence in Burkina Faso
Todd Nettleton, a spokesperson for Voice of the Martyrs, USA, says this recent attack follows a string of other attacks targeting Christian groups throughout 2019. Though there is no clear motive for this most recent attack, there is a pattern. Read more on previous attacks here, here, and here.
In recent years, Burkina Faso has not been a violent place for Christians. This is changing. Nettleton says that while there is no clear answer for the change, he suspects the violence across Burkina Faso’s borders is now seeping into the country.
“Burkina Faso sits, has a long border with Mali, where there has been a lot of trouble, a lot of terrorism type activities. It also shares a border with Niger, which then not far along that border you can get to Nigeria. So, it sits in kind of a hotbed of Africa where there is a lot of trouble in some of the surrounding nations,” Nettleton says.
“It seems like some of that trouble, and some of those radical Islamic groups are moving across the border and conducting attacks in Burkina Faso as well.”
How to Respond
Nettleton expects the Church in Burkina Faso will reach out to those impacted by this most recent attack. As for Christians outside of the country, there is one crucial thing to do.
“The key thing that most of our listeners can do is pray. We can pray for the church in Burkina Faso. We can pray that they will not be intimidated by this and not lose courage and not lose faith, but continue to serve the Lord and continue to meet together for fellowship, for worship, even though they know there’s risk involved in that,” Nettleton says.
Pray also for peace in Burkina Faso. Pray for an end to the violence in the region. And pray for those who attack Christians to come to know the grace, love, and truth of Christ.
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Header photo courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs Australia.