Burkina Faso (MNN) — Believers stand ready to help in the fallout of Burkina Faso’s latest attack. Suspected Islamist militants raided a village near the Mali border over the weekend, killing at least 138 people and forcing 7,000 families to flee.
“We do have partners in the area, so we’ll continue to work,” Voice of the Martyrs Canada spokesman Greg Musselman says.
“Lord willing, we’ll be able to reach out to our friends there in Burkina Faso and find ways [to] help them remain strong in their faith in the middle of this horrible, horrible situation.”
Local sources put Saturday’s death toll closer to 160, making it the deadliest assault in six years. No group has claimed responsibility yet, but some government officials think it’s the work of the Islamic State. Jihadist violence rose eightfold in parts of the Sahel region between 2015 and 2020.
“The fear is that these attacks will happen again. Unfortunately, history shows us [they] go on and on, especially in Nigeria and now Burkina Faso. Militants know that the security is weak, and they will continue to prey upon these very innocent people,” Musselman says.
“This is a newer country for us; Burkina Faso is a place that we did not hear very much [about] in terms of Islamic militancy, but the Boko Haram and other Islamic groups have been spreading across all of Africa.”
Pray for successful communication between VOM Canada and its partners as they seek to help persecuted Christians. Ask the Lord to strengthen His followers in Burkina Faso and give them grace.
“[Pray for] the recovery of the people. They’ve gone through trauma; they’ve lost loved ones,” Musselman says.
“The Bible says to pray for those who persecute us, even to love our enemies. Well, that’s a little more difficult if your enemies have killed your family and caused destruction and trauma in your community.”
Header image depicts a family displaced by violence in Burkina Faso in May 2019. (Photo © UNHCR/Romain Desclous)