AFRICA/BURKINA FASO - At least 14 dead in an attack on a Protestant church

Monday, 2 December 2019 terrorism   persecutions  

Ouagadougou (Agenzia Fides) - At least 14 people were killed during Sunday service in a Protestant church in Hantoukoura, in the eastern part of Burkina Faso. According to local authorities, an armed group entered the church around noon yesterday, Sunday, December 1, and opened fire. The pastor and some children died in the shooting, while several people were injured.
This is the umpteenth attack against Christian and Muslim places of worship, part of a strategy denounced by the President of Burkina Faso, Roch Kaboré (see Fides, 15/10/2019), and by local Bishops (see Fides, 19/6/2019), aimed at provoking a sectarian war. On 11 October, 15 people were killed during Friday prayers at the Salmossi mosque in the Oudalan region on the border with Mali.
Several Christian religious leaders, Catholics and Protestants, have been killed in targeted murders in recent months, as well as several imams have been murdered by jihadists in the north of the country since the beginning of the attacks, about four years ago.
For several years, Mali, Niger and parts of Chad and Nigeria have been subjected to assaults by various jihadist groups. Burkina Faso is the focus of these groups based on a very precise strategy: to undermine peaceful coexistence among different religious communities and to provoke inter-community conflicts. Burkina Faso was an example of this peaceful coexistence for all the States in the region. Throwing this country into chaos would undermine the security of the Sahel and the surrounding areas. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 2/12/2019)