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Bishop in Burkina Faso calls for the flow of weapons to jihadist groups to stop

by Cara Bentley

Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré of Dori told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need: "If the world continues to do nothing, the result will be the elimination of the Christian presence in this area and quite possibly in future from the entire country."

"The weapons they are using were not made here in Africa. They have rifles, machine guns and so much ammunition, more than the Burkina Faso army has at its disposal. When they come to the villages, they shoot for hours.

"Who is supplying them with these resources? If they were not getting this support from outside, they would have to stop.

"That's why I'm appealing to the international authorities. Whoever has the power to do so, may they put a stop to all this violence."

The latest incident took place in a rural village in the Diocese of Ouahigouya on 27th June but in May this year, Open Doors reported that ten people were killed in two days, one being a church leader.

This comes as the Foreign Secretary announced a series of recommendations by the Anglican Bishop of Truro regarding the persecution of Christians across the world.

The recommendations included aspiring to be a global leader on the issue of freedom of religion and belief and diplomacy teams working with local religious leaders.

Bishop Philip Mountstephen's report found that 80% of religiously motivated attacks were against Christians.

The bishop said of the latest attack: "When the people of the village of Bani had gathered together to speak among themselves, the Islamists arrived and forced everybody to lie face down on the ground.

"Then they searched them. Four people were wearing crucifixes. So they killed them because they were Christians.

"After murdering them, the Islamists warned all the other villages that if they did not convert to Islam they too would be killed."

According to the bishop, this is the fifth attack against Christians in the north-east of the country since the beginning of 2019 and brings the number of Christians killed to 20.

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