by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Fifteen Christians were shot dead during a suspected jihadist attack on a baptismal ceremony in the Oudalan province of Burkina Faso on May 18, International Christian Concern reports. No group has claimed responsibility, but Al Qaeda and ISIS have been increasingly active in West Africa.
ICC reports that while Burkina Faso was known for religious tolerance, it has been infiltrated in recent years by jihadist militants who attack civilians as well as government targets. The terrorists specifically target Christians and churches as well.
Reporting on what was already a crisis in 2019, The Africa Report (TAR) news outlet noted: “Jihadists will often attack other religious groups to spark and sustain open religious strife. In Burkina Faso, Christians are a religious minority, accounting for around 20-25% of the population.
Repeated attacks against Christian churches, including killings and kidnappings, are part of the terrorists’ strategy to generate tensions between religious communities.” Moreover, TAR said: “Attacks on churches are also a way to get media attention in a conflict that has so far garnered little international attention. Attacks targeting Christians are a kind of publicity stunt.”
In their report about last week’s atrocity, ICC asked: “Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Burkina Faso and ask the Lord to protect Christians living in these persecuted areas.”