BURKINA FASO — Following an escalation in violence against Christians in Burkina Faso in West Africa since June 2019, countless believers have been forced to flee leaving them in desperate need of food supplies. Churches have been attacked by radical Jihadists, with at least 50 Christians murdered and thousands more displaced.
Open Doors has responded by providing emergency relief for 560 vulnerable displaced Christian families in Kaya.
“It happened on a Sunday in April immediately after the church service. The terrorists entered the church, took seven Christians outside and killed them. We were so afraid. After we buried them we fled.”
Burkina Faso, in the Sahel region of West Africa, used to be known for its religious tolerance. But in 2019 anti-Christian violence escalated and the country has now entered Open Doors World Watch List at number 28.
Churches have been attacked by radical Jihadists, with at least 50 Christians murdered and thousands more displaced.
“The attackers weren’t Christians, but people of other religions. When they came they ordered all the villagers to do things that are not part of our religion. They told the men to grow beards and all the women to wear long clothes and cover their faces.”
Open Doors has never had major activities in Burkina Faso before. But following a visit in mid-June 2019 to meet and listen to displaced believers in Kaya their partners returned with emergency relief for 560 vulnerable Christian families.
“Thank you for the food. This will help me to take care of my children and family. May God bless you in the name of Jesus.”
“This food you gave us will really help us. It will enable us to feed our families while we are here in Kaya. We left our food behind and fled to this place with nothing.”
Being a pastor in this context can feel like quite a burden as Lazardi and Daniel testify.
“My biggest challenge is how to encourage my members to hold on to God amid these hardships. All those who fled here have a place to sleep and some food at least. But I worry about the fate of my church members who fled to other places. We don’t know anything about where they are or if they are receiving care.”
“In my village, I was devoted to evangelism and ministry. But now everything has stopped. I want to preach and pastor in my community, but I can’t because of the insurgency. I feel as if I fall short in my duty. Pray that one day when we return, we will spread the Gospel more than ever before. Pray for the Sahel. Pray that the door of the Gospel will never be shut.”
About Open Doors UK
Open Doors is a non-denominational mission that supports persecuted Christians in over 70 countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed. In their work, they provide vital support, training, and resources to those facing persecution or discrimination.
Resources that they provide include distributing Bibles and literature, running leadership training, assisting with socio-economic development and intercessory prayer. They also help victims of violence and disaster, including widows and orphans, with practical support such as relief aid, livelihood support, and community development projects.
Their vision is of a world in which every Christian who is persecuted is remembered and supported by other Christians. They pray for a world where there is no persecution.
- Global News Alliance, Standing with Displaced Christians in Burkino Faso
- Open Doors UK, Official Website