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Providing Aid to Displaced Believers

Providing Aid to Displaced Believers

Matthias and his wife are part of the traditional royal family of northern Burkina Faso.

Several years ago, they placed their faith in Christ and became involved in Christian ministry, which displeased the royal family as they are animists. Consequently, Mathias and family were no longer permitted to cultivate village land but were forced to farm some distance away.

At the beginning of 2019, Islamic extremists began indiscriminately attacking villages in northern Burkina Faso, causing many people to flee south. Matthias and his family decided to stay to help protect the area and encourage those who remained.

One day, while working in their field, Matthias and his then pregnant wife heard jihadists attacking their village. Knowing that they are widely identified as Christians and that they would be killed if caught, they fled to the nearest city. They left with only what they had in their hands; the distant location of the field had saved their lives.

They now reside in the capital of Burkina Faso but, as well-known Christians, their lives are still in danger. Regardless, they are helping other Christians in need. They hope to someday return to their home.

With continuing attacks, the whole country is at risk of continued growth of Islamic extremism and violence.
With thousands of people displaced, the country is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. The global pandemic reached Burkina Faso earlier this year and has compounded the problem.

So far this year, with the help of our supporters, Voice of the Martyrs has assisted more than 8,000 displaced persons by providing food and hygiene products.

“This is a great joy to me. For those who showed us mercy in our suffering, those who sent us this help, we say – thank you. May God grant you the desires of your heart. We can’t stop thanking you for what you have done in Jesus’ name.” – Bridgette, an aid recipient

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia on your tax return.

Emergency Relief for Displaced Christians in Burkina Faso

Emergency Relief for Displaced Christians in Burkina Faso

Christians in the north of this small African nation are suffering because of their faith. Many have been forced to flee their homes, leaving everything behind.

Armed groups, including some aligned with al-Qaida and Islamic State, are waging a campaign of indiscriminate killing, beginning with occasional attacks that have intensified over time.

Some of the attacks have targeted Christians. There have been several attacks on churches during worship services with church leaders explicitly targeted. In many areas, churches now meet in secret. In some of the most recent attacks, terrorists asked villagers about their religion. Those who claimed to be Christian were killed immediately, while people of other faiths were unharmed. To date, more than one million Burkinabe have had to leave their homes because of terrorist attacks. Among them are more than 8,000 Christians.

Pastor Blaise and his wife had been serving the Lord for several years in their home village. After learning that jihadist groups were actively searching for them, they fled to a more populated area. They had been there for a few weeks when, one Sunday, while walking to church, they saw a group of jihadists killing the pastor and six church members outside the building. Church members who were already inside were trying to escape or hide. That day, Pastor Blaise and his wife left and found refuge in a small town, 350km from their home village.

In March this year, the government of Burkina Faso introduced restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Lockdown, curfew and quarantine measures were put into place until early May.

This coincided with the typical lean season, and left Pastor Blaise and his wife, along with other displaced Christians, in great need. Every year people suffer hunger during the lean season, but COVID-19 restrictions coupled with the huge numbers of displaced persons, meant that all food harvested after the previous rainy season was very quickly consumed. There was no possibility of obtaining more.

Answering the cry for help from our brothers and sisters in Christ, including Pastor Blaise and his wife, VOM worked with local contacts to provide emergency aid, food and essential hygiene products, which were distributed to those most in need.

Pastor Blaise said, “We are thankful to God who saved our lives. We are grateful to our brothers and sisters who helped us and supported us in this challenging time. Please, pray for God’s protection. Pray also for our brothers and sisters who could not run away and are still in danger.”

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia on your tax return.

BURKINA FASO: Coronavirus Linked to Increased Persecution

BURKINA FASO: Coronavirus Linked to Increased Persecution

Pastor Mamadou Karambiri and his wife recently attended an international Christian conference in France. Unfortunately, they, in addition to a number of other delegates, became infected with coronavirus during the conference.

They tested negative for COVID-19 while in France, so were allowed to return home. They were back in Burkina Faso for a week before developing symptoms.

This situation has caused an increase in Christian persecution, with Christians being accused of bringing coronavirus to Burkina Faso.

This recent targeted opposition is in addition to increased levels of violent attacks in the small African nation. According to statistics released by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Database (ACLED), Burkina Faso has seen a rise of 650 percent in civilian deaths due to conflict in the past year. Such a large jump in attacks is directly attributable to large movements by jihadist groups south from Mali.

Christians in Burkina Faso are feeling particularly scared, as many attacks have targeted their community. Christians make up only about 20% of the total population, but dozens of them have been killed in execution style attacks in or around church functions and buildings.

Sources: VOM Partners, International Christian Concern

  • Pray for the full recovery of the pastor and his wife along with all the other conference delegates.
  • Pray the Lord’s protection will be on the couple and the Christian community who have been singled out as a result of contracting the virus.
  • Ask the Lord to bring an end to the violence and return peace once again to this nation.

Post your prayer in the comments below.