Archon News

Burkina Faso: Christians face resurgence of terrorist attacks

Christians make up about 30% of the population of Burkina Faso.

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

“Burkina Faso Christians face resurgence of terrorist attacks,” by Maria Lozano, Aid to the Church in Need, November 5, 2021:

ACCORDING TO REPORTS RECEIVED BY AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED, the security situation in northern Burkina Faso has drastically deteriorated in recent months. Armed groups are creating a reign of terror targeting the whole population, demanding taxes, and pillaging and robbing people in many parts of the country. However, the latest testimonies from displaced people collected by ACN in the Diocese of Dori indicate that some have been the object of severe persecution, specifically because they are Christian.

The modus operandi of the terrorists when they arrive in villages is to ask for “taxes” per head of cattle. They go to the cattle herders and ask for the owner of each animal. If these are not able to pay the taxes, they impound the animals. ACN has received reliable reports from local sources, according to which in recent weeks there have been cases in which the terrorists have first been asking whether the owner is a Christian or a Muslim. Witnesses who have lived through the latest attacks in the Sahel Region in northern Burkina Faso have told ACN: “If the owners were Christians the attackers didn’t consider it necessary to count their animals, because they said that they didn’t just want to take their animals, but also to kill the owners.”

According to reports received by the organization, in the last week of October a total of 147 persons—among them eight pregnant women and 19 children under five—had to flee from two villages on the Niger border, which for security reasons ACN is not naming, so as not to put the rest of the inhabitants in danger. The displaced people—who are seeking refuge in Dori, the capital of Burkina Faso’s Sahel region, explained that many of them had been identified as Christians and that the terrorists were expressly seeking them out to kill them because of their faith….

Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré of Dori, told ACN that there are “attacks, kidnapping, and murders in the entire country. The terrorists are kidnapping whoever they want to, executing some and liberating others.”

According to the bishop, the terrorists control various lines of communication and in addition frequently attack defense and security forces. “On October 31st, the terrorists turned back the regular buses which were on the way from Dori to Ouagadougou, saying that from now on the road was blocked,” he told ACN. “Although the army afterwards patrolled the road, the people are afraid because this is only intermittent, and the terrorists can come back at any moment.”…

In the Diocese of Dori, most of the population is Muslim (95.2 percent); 3.2 percent are adherents of traditional religions and 1.6 percent are Christian (1.22 percent Catholic)….

Subscribe to our mailing list

More Posts