Burkina Faso / 4 July 2019

Four lay Catholics killed in an attack in the north

Four lay Catholics were killed in Bani, about 12 kilometers from Bourzanga, capital of the homonymous department of the province of Bam, in the north of Burkina Faso, in the assault by a jihadist group of the village on the evening of June 27th. As reported by the Fides agency, after having forced the inhabitants to retire to their homes, the terrorists would have passed home by home to identify people according to their religious affiliation. The commando forced the inhabitants to lie down on the ground. And began the "search", hunting for religious symbols, and selection. The four who wore a small cross around their neck were taken aside and killed. On June 28, 2019, the jihadists went to Pougrenoma, another village in the parish of Bourzanga, to threaten the inhabitants. "According to the collected testimonies, they did not make victims but left a message in which they affirm that the defense and security forces (FDS) must leave the area as well as the government representatives, and threaten local Christians to convert otherwise they risk being executed on their next visit, "says a statement signed by Fr Victor Ouedraogo, director of the center for social communications of the Diocese of Bourzanga.

"This new attack brings to twelve in the space of two months the Catholic Christians killed by terrorists because of their religious affiliation in the diocese of OuahigouyaU," the statement said. Given the ongoing offensive, many faithful left the villages and took refuge in the parish center of Bourzaga, where they were received. In recent months, Burkina Faso has been bloodied by a flurry of attacks on Christian communities by jihadist groups that proliferate given the political crisis. The parish of Bourzanga is located 150 kilometers from the capital Ouagadougou (40 from Kongoussi, capital of the province of Bam). It was founded on March 25, 1963 and has 74,200 inhabitants, of whom 4,687 are Catholics.