Serving Persecuted Christians Worldwide - Attack on Sunday service in Burkina Faso kills at least 15 believers - Open Doors UK & Ireland
27 February 2024

Attack on Sunday service in Burkina Faso kills at least 15 believers

Please join us in praying for our family in Burkina Faso following a deadly attack on a church service.

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso has risen three places to number 20 in the latest World Watch List

At least 15 believers have been killed when suspected Islamic militants opened fire on a church service in Burkina Faso. The incident happened on Sunday (25 February) at a church in Essakane Village, Oudalan province, in the north east of the country. 

“In the morning at 8am, the Christians were gathered in chapel for the Sunday mass," shares Abbot Jean-Pierre Sawadogo, head of the local diocese. "Suddenly, some men arrived on motorcycles. They opened fire on the Christians in the chapel, only targeting the rank of men and shot them all. Thirteen died on the spot, two were seriously injured. They succumbed to their injuries once transported to the clinic."

"We invite you to pray for those who died in faith..." Abbot Jean-Pierre Sawadogo

"A little boy who was sitting by his dad's side was also killed," he continues. "The only two men who survived were those sitting with the women because they are part of the choir. 

“In this painful circumstance, we invite you to pray for those who died in faith, for the healing of the wounded, and for the consolidation of grieving hearts.” 

Worsening persecution 

“Burkina Faso has been known for religious tolerance and social cohesion amongst people, however the growing Islamic insurgency threatens the peaceful coexistence of the Burkinabe,” explains Jo Newhouse, Open Doors spokesperson for the work in sub-Saharan Africa. 


Shoes of all those who attended the service

“Christians have been disproportionately impacted by the growing insurgency in the north of the country, with churches and Christian communities singled out in attacks, while Muslims who do not side with the Islamic extremist groups have also suffered greatly,” she continues. 

Burkina Faso has one of the worst displacement crises in the world, and Christians are among the many who have been forced to flee their homes for safety.

The country rose several places to number 20 in the latest World Watch List due to very high levels of violence against Christians, together with worsening pressure in private, community and national spheres of life. 

“Please pray for the attackers, pray that they will meet Jesus and repent of these wicked attacks," asks Open Doors local partners. "May this incident not be in vain and pray that God will use it to grow and strengthen the church in northern Burkina Faso.”

Please pray
  • That God’s comfort and healing will engulf all those affected by this attack
  • For wisdom for the church leadership as they shepherd their congregation through this awful time
  • That believers in northern Burkina Faso will be strengthened in their faith and protected from harm, and that the attackers will encounter Jesus.
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Find out more about what it’s like to be a Christian in Burkina Faso, as well as places like North Korea, China, Pakistan and Nicaragua, with our Top 50 booklet. Also includes inspirational stories, prayer requests and updates from the latest report. The resource is free and you can order as many copies as you’d like!

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