Flee, convert or die – this is the stark choice repeatedly laid before the Christians of Burkina Faso by Islamist terrorists.
One of our project partners received a message: “Stop doing the church services and turn to Islam, you and your congregation, or we will visit you and kill you.” He and his extended family fled just in time, but four other local Christians were killed a few hours later when the terrorists arrived.
Christians the primary target of the terrorists
Terrorist violence began in Burkina Faso in 2015, but in 2019 Christians became the primary target of the terrorists. Clinging faithfully to Christ, at least 59 of His followers have been killed by terrorists this year, singled out because of their active commitment to the Lord. Thousands of others have fled. Barnabas Fund has not heard of any who have converted to Islam.
The men of violence – better armed than the Burkina Faso army – are infiltrating from neighbouring Mali. They have declared they will kill all the Christians in Burkina Faso, except any who become Muslims.
“If the world continues to do nothing the result will be the elimination of the Christian presence,” said a senior church leader.
“We are desperate and we need help”
“We don’t have money, nor food, nor house, nor land [to grow crops, which is how most people in Burkina Faso feed themselves]. How can we live like this? We are desperate and we need help. We are tired and sick almost every day.” This appeal came from Burkina Faso Christians to Barnabas Fund.
Displaced and destitute, Christians who have fled terrorist violence need our help. They have nothing! Their farm animals and their food stocks from the last harvest have been left behind, most likely burnt by the terrorists. Christians elsewhere in Burkina Faso are donating food and clothes, but it is not enough.
What will you give?
Will you help Barnabas Fund provide rice, millet, sorghum, beans, milk and cooking oil to feed hungry Christians? Or soap, mosquito nets, clothes and shoes to keep them healthy and warm? We are also funding medical care for women and children, including psychiatric help for the most traumatised.
Looking to the future, we are providing seeds of millet, beans, maize and sorghum to help displaced families become self-sufficient again.
10 bars of soap – £5 ($6; €5.60)
50kg of rice to feed a family of 7 people for a month – £24 ($30; €27)
Trauma counselling for 10 people – £130 ($160; €145)