A project to help suffering Christians in Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso has been suffering from violent Islamic attacks throughout the country’s northern region over the past two years. These attacks have displaced thousands of people and killed hundreds of others. Now, with the influx of these Islamic extremists, Christians are suffering more than they ever have before.
International Christian Concern (ICC) has been watching this violence unfold and finally found a way to step in and help. Though only a small start, this project may mean that we can help many more suffering Christians in the near future. For this first project, ICC partnered with a local organization named OCED (Organisation Chrétien d’Entraide et de Developpement) to assist a church leader named Pastor Joseph (name changed for security).
In June 2018, Islamic radicals kidnapped Pastor Joseph and seven members of his church in northern Burkina Faso. The captives were then thrown in the back of trucks and driven for days through the countryside, until they ended up in southern Mali. While being held, Pastor Joseph saw his chance to evangelize to the men who had captured him.
He was beaten, abused, and threatened to stop talking about Jesus. “I told them that I could not stop talking about Jesus no matter what, even if they say they will kill me,” Pastor Joseph continued.
During this time of separation, he continued to try and tell them the Gospel. He was abused and beaten often. After more than 100 days in captivity, his captors decided to take him into the middle of a nearby city and let him go. Pastor Joseph is still not sure why he was released.
When asked about his old church, Joseph stated, “I had about 75 members at my old church. I have been able to contact many of them and they are now under the care of new churches and new pastors. I do call them sometimes.”
This is what has happened to many of the Christian communities in northern Burkina Faso. They have been broken up and scattered.
In order to help care for Pastor Joseph and his family, ICC has stepped in and provided the pastor with a new motorcycle. (Featured picture) This vehicle can help him care for his church flock better, by allowing him to move about more freely. He will also be able to make some money for his family by using the vehicle as a motorcycle taxi.
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