9 JUNE ’21 | PRAY FOR BURKINA FASO
Dear prayer partners,
On Friday 4 June, armed men laid siege to the village of Solhan in northeast Burkina Faso. They destroyed homes, the market and killed an estimated 160 civilians. To date, no group has claimed responsibility for this attack, but Islamist attacks have become increasingly common in the country. President Roch Marc Christian Kabore denounced the attack and the United Nation’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was outraged by the onslaught.
A further assault on Friday night was reported in the village of Tadaryat, to the north of Solhan, where 14 people were killed. Last month, in the east of Burkina Faso, about 30 people died in another attack. According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in just two years the ongoing violence has led to the displacement of more than one million people and has left 3.5 million people in need of assistance – a 60% increase from January 2020 to January 2021. Burkina Faso also currently hosts about 23,000 refugees from neighbouring Mali. Despite the presence of thousands of UN peacekeepers in the region, the country is facing an unprecedented security crisis, together with its neighbours in the Sahel region (particularly Mali and Niger), with civilians bearing the brunt of these violent attacks, kidnappings, and raids.
According to the Joshua Project, Burkina Faso is home to over 21 million people, of whom 21.2% confess to being Christian, while 55% are professing Muslims. Burkina Faso has a history of religious freedom, tolerance, and social cohesion. However, since 2015, militant jihadists – some linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group – have expanded their territory across the Sahel and worked to drive a wedge between communities. The increasing violence has traumatised many communities and is threatening what residents call “vivre ensemble” – their ability to live together. Fear grips the nation and is also felt within the Church which has frequently been targeted by the jihadist groups.
Please join us in earnestly interceding for Burkina Faso.
“The real business of your life as a saved soul is intercessory prayer.” (Oswald Chambers)
* For more information – please read last month’s news bite – THOUSANDS DISPLACED IN BURKINA FASO AFTER VIOLENT ATTACKS