YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon – Christians in Burkina Faso are being forced to “flee, convert or die” by Islamic jihadists, according to a leading Catholic aid charity.
Burkina Faso’s government said on Monday that suspected extremists have carried out two attacks killing a total of 29 people.
One attack Sunday on the Dablo-Delbo road killed at least 14 civilians, while another 15 people were killed when a truck hit an explosive device on the road between Barsalogho and Guendbila in Sanmatenga province.
Islamic extremist violence has increased this year in Burkina Faso’s north and east near its Mali border. Hundreds have been killed in the attacks and thousands have fled.
However, Christians have been especially targeted. In June, seven Christians were killed by jihadists in a targeted attack in the northern town of Bani. The victims were searched for “signs of Christianity,” such as Bibles or crosses, before they were killed.
“Not only do the governments of nations like Burkina Faso need to be more protective of Christians and other minorities, but the international community needs to take decisive measures to end international terrorist financing and cross boarder transfers of weapons and militants,” Clancy said.
Burkina Faso is a Muslim-majority nation, but has a significant Christian minority, making up around 10 to 20 percent of the population. Most of the Christians are Catholics, and the country has 3 archdioceses and 12 dioceses.
The West African country used to have relatively good interfaith relations, with Christians and Muslims living together in peace. Since 2015, the situation has changed significantly: Jihadist groups that were previously active in neighboring Mali have gradually infiltrated Burkina Faso, and attacks have been increasing.
According to the Barnabas Fund, at least 56 Christians were killed by jihadists in a series of attacks between April and June.
Read more at Crux.