Burkina Faso bishop: As violence continues, 'nobody is listening'
FREE Catholic Classes
Following the death of more than a dozen Christians in a church shooting over the weekend, a Burkina Faso bishop said Western governments have a responsibility to stop the flow of weapons to militants in the region.
FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything
Burkina Faso Flag
Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso, (CNA) - Following the death of more than a dozen Christians in a church shooting over the weekend, a Burkina Faso bishop said Western governments have a responsibility to stop the flow of weapons to militants in the region.
"The Western powers should stop those who are committing these crimes, instead of selling them the weapons that they are using to kill the Christians," Bishop Justin Kientega of Ouahigouya told Aid to the Church in Need.
On Sunday, gunmen in the eastern Burkina Faso town of Hantoukoura attacked a protestant church service, killing 14 people, including several children.
"I condemn the barbaric attack against the Protestant Church of Hantoukoura in the department of Foutouri, which left 14 dead and several wounded. I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded," President Roch Marc Kabore tweeted late Sunday.
Bishop Kientega said the attack is part of an attempt by radical Islamists to "provoke a conflict between the religions in a country where Christians and Muslims have always lived peaceably side by side."
According to the Washington Post, militants with connections to al-Qaeda and ISIS regularly attack soldiers and civilians in the region.
"No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack, just as no-one claimed responsibility for the previous ones. So we don't know whether it is one group or several groups that are involved," Kientega said.
Escalating violence among armed militant groups in Burkina Faso has drawn international concern, with the United Nations warning earlier this year of an "unprecedented humanitarian emergency" in the country. Nearly half a million people have been forced to flee their homes in the last five years. More than 60 Christians have been murdered in the country this year, Aid to the Church in Need reports.
Last month, Pope Francis called for prayers and urged interreligous dialogue amid ongoing violence by jihadist groups.
Kientega argued that the Western world has been ignoring the plight of Christians in West Africa. He suggested some Western powers "have an interest in seeing the violence continue" in the region.
"There is an ongoing persecution of Christians. For months, we bishops have been denouncing what is happening in Burkina Faso, but nobody is listening to us," he told Aid to the Church in Need. "Evidently, the West are more concerned with protecting their own interests."
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
- Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony
- Come Holy Spirit
- The Apostles' Creed
- Padre Nuestro - Our Father (Lord's Prayer)
- Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.