About a quarter of the population of Burkina Faso are Christians, and just over 60% of the 20 million inhabitants are Muslims. The West African country has long been regarded as a model for peaceful coexistence between religions. While there were only isolated attacks in previous years, an explosion of violence broke out in 2019 with serious jihadist attacks on Christian communities. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled for their lives, schools have been closed and church life is now severely restricted. Three priests have already been murdered. ACN is standing by the local Church in this crisis.
The jihadist threat and violence particularly affect the north, the east and the Sahel zone. Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré of Dori even fears the eradication of Christians in Burkina Faso. Local Church representatives complain that the terrorists are being supplied with foreign weapons and report to ACN that some Muslim youths have joined the holy warriors mainly because they lack prospects in life, while for others it is an expression of their belief.
Christians in Burkina Faso are threatened with eradication.
Pastoral care has come to a complete standstill in some areas due to the violent attacks. Priests and nuns can no longer move freely to care for the faithful in the villages; some parishes have been closed for security reasons.
ACN would like to give hope to the priests and religious, in particular, and supports them with Mass stipends and existential aid. In 2019, we also continued to aid aspiring priests and the families of seminarians who are especially affected by the unstable situation in the country.