Burkina Faso: Six killed in attack on church

Source: Vatican Media/WCC

Six people were killed during an attack on a Protestant church in northern Burkina Faso, in the small town of Silgadji near Djibo, the capital of Soum province. Gunmen opened fire on the church at the end of Sunday's service. The attackers allegedly arrived on seven motorbikes and killed the pastor, Rev Pierre Ouedraogo, two of his sons and three other worshippers.

Six people are dead after an attack on a Protestant church in Burkina Faso on Sunday. Pope Francis has expressed his sorrow and offered prayers for the victims and their families. 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."

WCC general secretary Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said it is tragic when people who are gathered to worship end up perishing in a display of hatred that is shocking.

"We mourn and we pray with the families and friends of those who were attending church on Sunday," Tveit said. As attacks on places of worship have seemed to grow recently, Tveit said: "We will not be deterred by extremist violence and intolerance. We will respond with the kind of love that transforms communities and transcends hate."

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.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) condemned

Tags: Burkina Faso, Rev Pierre Ouedraogo, Pope Francis, Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit

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