Burkina Faso (MNN) — West Africa has recorded more than 1,800 terrorist attacks since the start of the year, and nearly 4,600 people have been killed. The country with the largest body count? Burkina Faso.
Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs USA explains, “Burkina Faso is a country where we see a growing terrorist threat, and a lot of that has to do with its border.
“Burkina Faso shares a very long border with Mali. We know Mali has been very unstable in recent years. We know that there has been a lot of terrorist activity in Mali in recent years. A lot of that has come across the border into Burkina Faso.
“Then they also share a border with Niger. They’re also a country where we’ve seen increased terrorist attacks and so it seems like a lot of that violence and a lot of that terrorism is coming across that border into Burkina Faso.”
Most terrorist activity in West Africa comes from radical Islamic groups fighting for a Muslim caliphate. Much of it targets Christians, pastors, and churches.
“Ten years ago, Burkina Faso was kind of seen as an island of stability in West Africa and persecution was not a regular part of following Christ. So in many ways, the pastors there have kind of been like, ‘Wait a minute, this is not what we expected. This is not what we were ready for.’”
VOM’s ministry is working with pastors in Burkina Faso and training them how to do ministry in a persecution context. Pray for their courage and strength.
Header photo courtesy of VOM USA.