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.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Bethann Flynn