Violence against Christians in Africa “is exploding”, according to a senior church leader in the Central African Republic.
In Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Mozambique there has been an increase in attacks on Christians, including church leaders and churches in recent weeks, said Cardinal Dieudonne Nzapalainga in an interview with the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
The West African nation of Burkina Faso in particular has seen a sharp increase in attacks this year as part of an Islamist insurgency in the country. Imams opposing the Islamist agenda have been under threat as well, added Marco Mörschbacher, Africa consultant at the Catholic aid organization Missio.
He said the root causes of the violence varied per country, involving religion, access to natural resources and other agendas.
The global political instability has made the world in general a more volatile place, said the Cardinal, warning that people should not fall into the trap of responding to violence by using violence.
The 2019 World Watch List of persecution watchdog Open Doors International showed that 18 out of the 23 countries with ‘high’ levels of persecution of Christians could be found in sub-Saharan Africa where weak governance, poverty and radical Islam increasingly collide.