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Burkina Faso: 58 killed in attacks by armed Islamic militants targeting Christians

Persecution of Christians in Burkina Faso: the Islamic insurgency that has victimized numerous Christians in neighboring countries is now spreading to Burkina Faso. Christians make up about 30% of the nation’s population, yet also like the persecution of Christians in neighboring countries, their persecution is escalating, and continues to be largely ignored by the international media and human rights operations.

Please continue to pray for the victims, for a new determination among international authorities to take definitive action to end this persecution, and for the persecutors to soften their hearts and turn to Orthodox Christianity.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Burkina Faso, see here.

“Burkina Faso: 58 killed in attacks targeting Christians,” by Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post, June 7, 2020:

At least 58 people, including children, were recently killed in northern Burkina Faso in three separate attacks by armed Islamic militants who were targeting Christians. 

Christians were among those targeted and killed in the attacks that took place in the provinces of Loroum, Kompienga and Sanmatenga within 24 hours, from May 29 to May 30, according to the U.K.-based aid agency Barnabus Fund.

The group said a local source spoke to a survivor, who said the militants targeted Christians and humanitarians taking food to a camp of internally displaced people with many Christian villagers who had fled before the violence.

Referring to an attack on a humanitarian convoy in Sanmatenga province’s Barsalogho area, which left six civilians and seven soldiers dead, the survivor said, “The driver shouted ‘forgive, forgive, we are also followers of the [Islamic] prophet Muhammad.’ One of them [among the gunmen] turned to the other attackers and said, ‘they have the same religion with us.’”

The attack subsequently ended, the charity said.

Apart from the attack in Sanmatenga, militants opened fire indiscriminately at a cattle market in Kompienga on May 30, killing at least 30 people. The day before, a convoy of traders, which included children, was attacked while traveling from Titao to Sollé in Loroum province.

Dozens were injured in the three attacks.

Last December, at least 14 people were killed when gunmen stormed a Protestant church service in the town of Hantoukoura near the border with Niger. Last April, gunmen killed a Protestant pastor and five other Christians who were leaving a worship service in Silgadji.

Burkina Faso, one of the most impoverished countries in the world, has been fighting armed groups with links to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State for more than four years.

Over 4,000 people were killed in Islamic extremist attacks in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali in 2019, according to the U.N.’s envoy for West Africa and the Sahel Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

Since 2016, extremist groups including the Islamic State West Africa Province and Ansaroul Islam have carried out attacks throughout the Sahel region of West Africa. But attacks increased fivefold in 2019 — deaths rose from 80 in 2016 to 1,800 in 2019….

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