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World News

Christians in Burkina Faso face 'existential threat'

by Alex Collett

Christians in Burkina Faso are facing an "existential threat" as Islamist militants capitalise on continued disruption and disorder in the country, a spokesman for Open Doors UK has said. 

"Islamist militants are waging an insurgency to establish a Caliphate, an Islamic State ruled by Sharia. 

"Thus non-Muslims are their prime target.

"When there is chaos and disorder, they flourish and further their aims and that is what is happening now with the current unrest," Illia Djadi, Open Doors analyst for Sub-Saharan Africa said.  

He continued: "Militants control 40 percent of the country now." 

"In northern Burkina, there is no Christian presence, with most of the Churches in the region destroyed or closed down, and their members forced to flee."

A similar scenario is also taking place in the East of the country. Christians represent nearly a quarter of the population in the area and are slowly being uprooted as radical Islam attempts to take over.

"There is no room for Christians in the militants' dreamed-of Caliphate. Christians are deeply concerned, and we should be too. An Islamist takeover is terrible news for all of Africa and beyond," Djadi added.
The UN has highlighted Burkina Faso is suffering a serious hunger crisis, with over 630,000 people on the brink of starvation - a situation badly exacerbated by blockades by militant groups, preventing aid distribution. 

Around two million people have been internally displaced since the crisis began. 

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