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Seven Christians killed by Islamist militants in Burkina Faso

Seven people were identified as Christians and executed while others were freed after Islamist gunmen searched and questioned a group of civilians for evidence of their faith in Burkina Faso on 27 June, a Barnabas Fund contact revealed on 4 September.

An exclusive report from the Barnabas Fund

“They laid everyone down, looked for signs of Christianity in their baggage.

They also asked to see who were not Christians and they freed them, while slaughtering all the Christians numbering seven,” said the contact.

He said that crosses, Christian books and a New Testament were among the items the Islamists discovered among the Christians’ possessions.

“They declared that this is the way they will treat all Christians of the country … unless they become Muslims,” the Barnabas source added.

The 27 June massacre took place in Bani in the north-east of Burkina Faso and was the seventh in a spate of Islamist attacks targeting Christians in Burkina Faso that Barnabas has reported in 2019. At least 56 Christians were killed in a series of attacks between April and June.

The contact added that the Islamists are targeting church gatherings as well as political and local leaders who are favourable to Christians.

He said that the number of Christians who had fled to the city of Kaya in Sanmatenga province was now about 2,640 and is thought to include hundreds of children. The number seeking refuge in Kaya has more than doubled since June.

In recent years Burkina Faso has mostly escaped Islamist violence, but that changed abruptly in 2019. The series of 2019 attacks began on 28 April in Silgadji, when gunmen

rounded up a pastor, his son and four of his congregation and demanded they deny their Christian faith and convert to Islam. After refusing they were executed one-by-one. 

Six were then killed at a church on 12 May and four at a Christian parade on 13 May. Four were then murdered at another church on 26 May. The fifth and sixth reported attacks took place on 9 and 10 June in which 29 were butchered by Islamist extremists.

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