For the first time in Burkina Faso, a West African nation, Islamic extremists have attacked a church and taken lives in the process. Six Christians, including Pastor Pierre and his two sons, did not survive the attack.
Burkina Faso has seen Islam and Christianity exist in relative peace, especially compared to some of its more volatile neighbours. However, there has been a slow increase in attacks since 2014, when the country’s long-term ruler was removed from power.
On Sunday, 28 April, as the morning church service in the village of Silgadji drew to a close, gunmen arrived on motorcycles.
“The assailants asked the Christians to convert to Islam, but the pastor and the others refused,” said a local leader. “They ordered them to gather under a tree and took their Bibles and mobile phones. Then they called them, one after the other, behind the church building where they shot them.”
The extremists then set the church on fire and robbed the pastor’s house before they fled.
Fearing for their safety, over 100 Christians from the area had previously fled to more secure towns further south in the country. But Pastor Pierre chose to stay.
He told a local source, just months prior to his death, that he “would rather die for his faith than leave the community he has been serving for about 40 years.”
Around the world, persecuted Christians like Pastor Pierre show courage in the face of suffering and adversity. They’ve counted the cost and deemed Jesus as worth it. Please pray they will continue to stand strong in their faith.
Please Pray For Burkina Faso:
- Pray the families who lost loved ones in the attack will find comfort and peace in Jesus as they grieve.
- Pray Christians will continue to be bold and have the courage to meet together and share the gospel with their neighbours.
- Pray this heightened state of violence in Burkina Faso will not continue, and that many will be transformed by the Prince of Peace, Jesus.
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