by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - The Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) non-profit organization has been told that 147 Christians, including children, elderly and pregnant women, fled from two villages on the Niger border in Burkina Faso last month, as Islamic extremists were seeking to kill them, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
Officially secular, and once renowned for its religious tolerance, the West African nation of Burkina Faso has been in the grip of a violent jihadist uprising since 2015.
According to ACN, Burkina Faso Christians are often targeted by jihadist terrorists. One of the Christians in the group of 147 who fled for their lives at the end of October told ACN: “The terrible thing is that when someone gave us refuge, we were denounced as Christians, and this put the person who had accommodated us in danger. We have to sleep at a distance from the villages. Not all the Christians in the area have been able to flee. We are concerned about the fate of our sons and wives who remain there.”
In a statement to ACN, Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré, Bishop of Dori, said: “[There are] attacks, kidnapping, and murders in the whole country. The terrorists are kidnapping whoever they want to, executing some and liberating others.”
ICC has issued a call for prayer for Burkina Faso and an end to Islamic extremism there. “Please also pray for the Lord to protect and strengthen the persecuted church, and to provide healing to all of those affected by violence,” ICC added in its report.