Six people died in the attack on a Protestant church in Burkina Faso on Sunday in Silgadji, in the north of the country, just as the Sunday service was concluding. According to security sources, “unidentified armed individuals” arrived on motorcycles, shooting and killing six people, including the pastor, Pierre Ouedraogo, and two of his sons.
The prayer of Pope Francis
The ad interim Director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, told Vatican News: "The Holy Father has learned with sorrow the news of a new attack on a church in Burkina Faso” and that he is praying “for the victims and their families and the entire Christian community in the country”.
From tolerance to violence
The West African nation of Burkina Faso has a history of religious tolerance, and this is the first such attack on a place of worship in the country. Around 60% of the population is Muslim, and about 25% is Christian. Episodes of sectarian violence have increased in recent months. Since 2016, over 200 attacks by armed groups on villages, schools and hospitals, have forced thousands of people to abandon their homes. The United Nations estimates that over a million people are now in need of humanitarian aid.