12/02/2019 Burkina Faso (International Christian Concern) – In the middle of a church service in Hantoukoura town of Burkina Faso, unidentified gunmen opened fire on Sunday, killing 14 people and injuring several others. Following the onslaught, the gunmen fled on motorbikes. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Burkina Faso’s Christian minority used to live in relative peace. Now the violence and persecution of Christians has quadrupled in the last two years and is expected to increase by 60% by the end of 2019 according to Africa Center for Strategic Studies in Washington. Radical Islamic groups such as the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and other local insurgents have pushed nearly half a million people from their homes.
Sunday’s attack comes after a Catholic priest was executed in February, five Christians were killed during an attack on a Church service in April, and 13 Christians were killed in a Church arson attack and procession in May. Most recently was on October 26 when unknown gunmen stormed a Christian village and reportedly killed 12 and abducted several others.
Many Christians have fled with their families to safer areas, either in the south, or to bigger cities. The Burkinabe government have taken steps to try and quell these attacks, but have had a hard time in stopping all of them due to the guerrilla nature of these jihadist attacks.