Image: Naomi Zoré’s husband, Eli, was killed in a militant attack in April 2019. She was forced to move to Kaya with her 9 children. While they were accommodated with the church, they struggled to get enough food. OD’s food support has saved their lives.
There has been another brutal attack on Christians in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
Dec 1, armed men stormed a Protestant church in the town of Hantoukoura near the border with Niger. They killed the pastor and 13 other worshippers, including 5 teenagers. The attackers fled on motorcycles/scooters. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it is assumed to be the work of one of the several Islamic extremist groups active in the country.
This latest attack brings to at least 41 the number of Christians known to have been killed in 9 reported jihadist attacks since the beginning of the year. An unknown number of pastors and their families have been abducted.
These attacks are challenging the peaceful religious co-existence between the country’s majority Muslims and Christians who form around 25%. It has led to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
Pastor Samuel Sawadogo, who cares for the displaced Christians in Kaya told OD, “We don’t know who the attackers are, neither do we know who is sponsoring them. All we know is that they attack Christians. These attacks have shattered the lives of our people. We are troubled and filled with pain over the deaths of our family members.”
Our brothers and sisters in Burkina Faso need fervent prayer and urgent support to remain full of hope and unified in the face of increasing hostility. Church leaders in particular need God’s protection and wisdom as they minister to their flock while facing specific targeting themselves.
- Please pray for the Lord’s comfort and grace to be at work in the lives of all who have lost loved ones in the latest attack and that He would be close to the brokenhearted.
- Pray that Christians would have the grace to remain firm in the faith as they face increased hostility and not give in to the temptation of tribalism and anger towards Muslims but continue to trust the Lord to fight their cause.
- Many people, including Christians, have been severely traumatized by the deterioration in security and the displacement they suffered. Please pray that the Lord will be at work in their lives to bring healing and comfort and to provide in their every need.
- The extremist ideologies sweeping across the Sahel have brought destruction to so many lives. Please pray that the Lord would use these circumstances to display His glory. Pray that the Lord will draw in the many who are lost to Himself.
- Pray for the role the Church plays in ministering to people. Thank the Lord for their determination to continue sharing Christ with the lost. Pray for wisdom and courage.
- Please pray that the government would receive wisdom and display accountability as they seek to create order in the affected areas.
- Pray for all international forces helping in the fight against extremists in the larger region. Pray that they would be able to help bring stability and prevent the spread of violence to Burkina Faso’s neighbors.
- Pray for wisdom and provision for Charlie as we determine the appropriate interventions. Pray for the protection over staff as they travel to volatile regions. Pray for His blessing on all logistics.
Open Doors helps Christians deal with the realities they face under radical Islamic ideologies in West Africa. We have been running integrated programs in West African countries to help Christians who are on the receiving end of radical Islamic ideology remain firm in the faith. This includes Persecution Preparedness training, Discipleship training, Economic Empowerment, MBB ministry, leadership training and trauma care. Open Doors during late October delivered relief aid to 560 most vulnerable Christian families fled the north.