Burkina Faso (MNN) — Troubling news surfaced this week in Burkina Faso: “This was an attack on a baptism service, specifically targeting Christians. It is believed that it was radical Muslims [who attacked], possibly affiliated with the Islamic State,” The Voice of the Martyrs USA spokesman Todd Nettleton says.
“At least 15 people were killed; many others have fled.”
It’s the latest in a string of attacks targeting Tin-Akoff in northern Burkina Faso. “Within the last month, in this part of Burkina Faso, we’ve seen several attacks where civilians were killed,” Nettleton says.
Two Spanish journalists were among more than 50 people killed during one week in April, the Associated Press reports.
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“[Tuesday’s] attack happened a few miles from the border with Mali. We have seen radical groups coming across [the] border and conducting attacks like this, and then going back into Mali,” Nettleton says.
Trends like these are troublesome, but you probably won’t hear much about it on the nightly news. “It is ‘flying under the radar’ of the world [policymakers and news media], and I don’t have a good explanation for that,” Nettleton says.
“15 of our brothers and sisters [in Christ] were killed. Somebody needs to be paying attention to this.”
“One of the things that Voice of the Martyrs is doing in Burkina Faso is helping to prepare the church for persecution. [We’re] helping pastors understand the theology of persecution and what the Bible says about persecution so that they can turn around and pass that on to their congregations,” Nettleton says.
VOM USA also helps displaced believers through local church partners, he adds.
“There is a great need for the Church in Burkina Faso to help Christians who are fleeing from these kinds of attacks.”
Header image courtesy of VOM USA.