Only a handful of countries have a lower per-capita GDP than Burkina Faso, yet it carried itself through a peaceful election following a 2014 coup. The constitution promises religious freedom, and religious organisations must register with the government. Even as the Muslim population increased rapidly, little had happened in Burkina Faso to mark it as especially hostile to Christians. That changed in January 2016, when elements associated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb attacked a hotel in the capital, Ouagadougou, killing 29 people, including seven Christians in the country on humanitarian missions. The BBC reported that the attack “would seem to be an attempt by AQIM not just to reinforce itself as the main jihadist group in the region, but also to show that it can spread its violent campaign to new frontiers”. (Photo: Hugues via Flickr; CC)

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1,000 days since kidnap of 84-year-old doctor in Burkina Faso, family plead for his release

1,000 days since kidnap of 84-year-old doctor in Burkina Faso, family plead for his release

It’s over 1,000 days now since an Australian doctor, Ken Elliott, was kidnapped in Djibo, Burkina Faso, on 15 January, 2016. His abduction was claimed by the ‘Emirate of the Sahara’, a branch of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Dr. Elliott, with his wife, had run a 120-bed clinic in […]

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Burkina Faso: Kidnappers release pastor and his family after four days

Burkina Faso: Kidnappers release pastor and his family after four days

The pastor abducted on Sunday with his family in Burkina Faso’s north-eastern province of Soum has been released. Local sources told Omega Radio that Pastor Pierre Boena, his son David and his daughter-in-law, Ami Sawadogo, were released yesterday (7 June). The report did not specifically mention the two granddaughters, Fasne-wendé […]

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Second Christian leader in two weeks kidnapped in Burkina Faso

Second Christian leader in two weeks kidnapped in Burkina Faso

A Christian pastor and three members of his family have been kidnapped in Burkina Faso’s north-eastern province of Soum, two weeks after the kidnapping of another Christian leader and his wife. Pierre Boena, a pastor with an Assembly of God church, was kidnapped during the evening of Sunday 3 June […]

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Burkina Faso: concerns over reported rise in extremism

A church in Burkina Faso. The recent kidnappings of two Christian church leaders has created an atmosphere of anxiety among Christian communities in the north-eastern part of the country. (Photo: Photo: khym54 via Flickr; CC 2.0)

Christian and Muslim leaders in Burkina Faso met last week to discuss interreligious dialogue amidst growing concerns about the spread of violent Islamic extremism in the country, reports Fides. The landlocked West African nation, which borders Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast, is majority-Muslim (around 60%), but also […]

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Burkina Faso: 2 years on, thousands call for release of ‘doctor of the poor’ by Al-Qaeda offshoot

Burkina Faso: 2 years on, thousands call for release of ‘doctor of the poor’ by Al-Qaeda offshoot

Thousands took to the streets of Djibo, a northern town in Burkina Faso, on Monday (15 January) to call for the government to secure the release of an Australian doctor, Ken Elliott, kidnapped two years ago. The abduction was claimed by the ‘Emirate of the Sahara’, a branch of Al-Qaeda […]

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Burkina Faso: citizenship for kidnapped Australian

An Australian surgeon kidnapped by jihadists in Burkina Faso nearly a year ago, and whose whereabouts remain unknown, has been declared a citizen of the West African nation, an official decree announced on Wednesday (17 Nov.). Ken Elliot was abducted along with his wife Jocelyn in January 2016 by Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists […]

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