Attack on minor seminary in Burkina Faso
By Devin Watkins
The pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) reported Friday that the minor seminary of St. Kisito de Bougui was attacked by “unidentified armed men” on Thursday night.
No one was killed in the incident but extensive damage was inflicted on the seminary in the Diocese of Fada N’Gourma, in eastern Burkina Faso.
Destruction of religious items
Local sources told ACN that 30-odd Islamist jihadists rode into the seminary compound on motorbikes around 8 PM, staying for about one hour.
They burned two dormitories, a classroom, and one vehicle, stealing another vehicle.
ACN reports that the militants destroyed a crucifix, telling the seminarians that they “don’t want to see crosses”.
They also told the seminarians to leave, and threatened to return and kill anyone who remains on the premises.
Prayers for seminarians
After the attack was over, the seminarians were sent home for a week to await further developments.
Local residents of Bougui expressed fear to ACN and a desire to leave in the wake of the attack.
ACN has asked for prayers “for all the seminarians, formators, and people of Burkina Faso.”
The seminary currently hosts 146 minor seminarians—who are of secondary school age—and 7 adult formators.
The West African nation of Burkina Faso has seen an uptick in jihadist violence in recent years.
The government’s inability to stem the insecurity was cited as a reason for a military coup that ousted President Roch Kabore on 23 January.