Gunmen killed 24 people and left at least 18 wounded when they targeted a church service on 16 February in the village of Pansi. Upon entering, the attackers separated the men from the women, and locals from non-residents. They chose to kill resident men, including the church pastor.
After setting the church building on fire, the perpetrators looted local shops and forced three kidnapped youths to transport the stolen goods. Villagers fled to the nearby town of Sebba for safety, to find it had also been attacked by the same militants.
Less than a week earlier, also in Sebba, another distressing incident occurred. On 10 February, a church deacon was murdered. His car was then used to kidnap Pastor Tindano and five of his family members.
Prior to the abduction, a church deacon had been murdered, and it was his car that had subsequently been used to kidnap the pastor’s family. The bodies of Pastor Tindano, his son and two nephews were found three days later. Fortunately, the pastor’s two daughters were released unharmed.
Violence in northern Burkina Faso has increased at an alarming rate, as jihadists use any link to the government or Christianity as justification for murder. Over 1,300 civilians were killed in targeted attacks last year alone, more than seven times the previous year.
Sources: New York Times, CTV, Aljazeera, The Guardian
- Intercede for the Christians of Burkina Faso, as they face ongoing threats because of their faith.
- Pray that the authorities will be able to thwart any further attacks and provide the country’s innocent civilians much needed protection.
- Intercede for the attackers. Ask God to reveal to them the truth of the Gospel and remove the hatred and violence from their hearts.
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