Burkina Faso is quickly going from a peaceful farming nation in West Africa to an extremist breeding ground.
Attacks by Islamic State and al Qaeda militants in Burkina Faso have quadrupled since 2017. Over 70,000 people have fled their homes this year.
Recently, gunmen in northern Burkina Faso surrounded a group of people outside, found four Christians wearing crosses, and executed them.
Greg Musselman with The Voice of the Martyrs Canada says this sudden rise of extremism in the West African country, while not unprecedented, is rather surprising.
“It’s not been on our radar in terms of the Voice of the Martyrs and ministries that work with persecuted Christians. So there has been some surprise I guess in some ways that this generally peaceful nation where Christians, Muslims, religious people, and those that maybe don’t believe all get along pretty well.
“It’s just been the quick acceleration, especially now directly attacking Christians, looking for religious symbols as they go into the communities and attacking churches and really trying to bring division between the Muslims and Christians and it’s kind of that ‘divide and conquer’ mentality.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh