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by Sharon Rondeau

Image credit: Profoss, Wikipedia, CC-SA 3.0

(May 12, 2019) — Amid a rising number of attacks on Christian churches this year, a priest holding mass on Sunday morning and five others were murdered by a group of terrorists on motorcycles in the northern section of the West-African nation of Burkina Faso.

The terrorists, numbering as many as 30, set fire to the church in the city of Dablo after committing the murders, the BBC reported, in the third attack on churches since early April.

The country, previously known as the Republic of Upper Volta, was renamed in 1984, experiencing two coups since that time.  After an uprising by the people in 2014, the then-president relinquished power, and an election was held the following year.

“Burkina Faso” means “Land of Honest Men,” according to the BBC.

“The landlocked country in northwest Africa has been beset by extremist violence in recent months as Islamist terror groups expand their reach,” CNN reported Sunday.

After an attack on a school in northern Burkina Faso in December, the BBC termed it “the country where it’s too dangerous to go to school.”  The article described the attackers as “jihadist militants.”  At the time, more than one-third of the country’s schools were shuttered, affecting more than 150,000 elementary-school students, the BBC said.

In 2016, terrorist attacks in the former French colony numbered 12, increasing to 33 in 2017 and 158 last year.  Jihadists reportedly belong to Al Qaeda, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, Ansarul Islam, and the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), according to two sources.

Last month, ten people were killed in two separate attacks, one on a Protestant church and the other on a Catholic church.  In addition to the Catholic church attack Sunday, the killers set fire to “several shops and a small cafe,” according to RTÉ, an Irish “national public service” broadcasting company.

Located in the “Sahel” area of the African continent, nations such as Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria have become battlegrounds for competing Islamic terrorist groups.  In a comprehensive report on the growing threat, the BBC reported last June:

Extremist groups have grown and divided, splintered and reformed, as those backed by al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group battle for power and influence.

Boko Haram, and its offshoot, the Islamic State in West Africa Province, have displaced and terrorised hundreds of thousands of people in north-eastern Nigeria and the bordering countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Splits in the leadership and a concerted effort by the Nigerian army has eaten into their influence, but the kidnap of schoolchildren and the use of young suicide bombers continues.

But it’s further west – mainly in Mali and the border regions of Burkina Faso and Niger – where attacks are increasing in frequency and sophistication.


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  1. No “extremists” here, just your everyday “moderate Muslims”, living life as they have been for the last 1,400 years, give or take.
    Let’s see if we can figure it out: where there are Muslims there’s every kind of mayhem under the sun, including child marriages and so-called “honor killings”, and where there are ZERO Muslims there’s one heck of a lot less pure stupidity such as, well, here we go again, child marriages and “honor killings”, which is just another name for “premeditated murder”, isn’t it?
    Islam: an infectious disease that attacks the ignorant and stupid; a means of governing by sleep deprivation and intimidation; draconian methods enforcing a rule of law which is, by any other name, Totalitarian not only by nature but in fact, if one needs an example, look no farther than the Taliban enforcing Sharia Law.