You might not have seen this on your local nightly news, but the second Christian leader in a week has been kidnapped in Burkina Faso. In both instances, family members were also taken.
On 20 May, a catechist at the parish of Arbinda (40km from Bilhore), was kidnapped, along with his wife. Next, a pastor from the Assemblies of God church was taken from the village of Bilhore on June 3. This man’s son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter were taken along with him.
Until recently, attacks carried out by Islamic militants only targeted government employees and members of the military. Islamists have also set fires to schools for teaching French in the northern region of the country. Since the beginning of last year, 216 schools have been closed.
January 2016, 30 people were killed in attacks on two hotels and a cafe in central Ouagadougou. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for that attack. Six of the victims in this attack were members of faith based humanitarian groups, Christians. They were spending Christmas break in service. Four of the dead were Canadians from the same family. A seventh was a US missionary who had been running an orphanage and women’s shelter along with his wife since 2011.