PERSECUTION AND VIOLENCE SPIRALLING IN AFRICA – WILL YOU HELP OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS?

Another 58 people were murdered and 17 kidnapped by militants earlier this month in a mainly-Christian area of north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “People were killed with every sort of weapon,” said a villager.

In anti-Christian attacks in Burkina Faso, it is often the men who are killed, leaving widows and fatherless children without a protector and provider

In anti-Christian attacks in Burkina Faso, it is often the men who are killed, leaving widows and fatherless children without a protector and provider

Bringing smiles in Burkina Faso

At the end of May, 58 people died in anti-Christian attacks in Burkina Faso. In August, a group of children were killed, which is unusual as men tend to be the main targets. The youngsters, on their way home by cart after a day grazing their families’ livestock, were killed by an improvised explosive device planted on the road in a mainly-Christian area. These are just examples.

“The security challenge caused by jihadi groups is increasing in many parts of Burkina Faso. It is causing the closure of churches, dislocation of communities, displacement of families, people cannot cultivate their fields any more to grow crops for food, and they can no longer do the work they were doing before to earn their living.” This was the stark message to Barnabas Fund last month from a Christian leader in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

We sent funds for maize, rice and cooking oil for some of the neediest families. “Your aid is bringing indeed a lot of smiles and encouragement to families,” he wrote to us last week, half way through the distribution.

Joy in the midst of persecution

“Every day we witness looting, fires, kidnappings, killings, and massive displacement of populations towards town centres.” A church leader from Cameroon shared with Barnabas Fund this extract from a speech he made. Then he spoke of the joy that was felt because of the millet, soap, clothes, blankets and sleeping mats that Barnabas had provided for the homeless survivors of the persecution.

“God is good, God is good, God is good forever,” sang widowed Madeleine when she received her package of aid.

Marie burst into tears when given her allocation, and affirmed again and again in her mother tongue, “The God of Jesus Christ has visited me.”

Thousands of Christians in West Africa have to abandon their homes, possessions and crops when they flee violence; they desperately need food and other basic items

Thousands of Christians in West Africa have to abandon their homes, possessions and crops when they flee violence; they desperately need food and other basic items

Greater violence, greater hunger

Anti-Christian violence is escalating in West Africa and Central Africa, as militants take advantage of the Covid crisis. Prices are escalating too. But you can bring smiles and joy with your gift to Barnabas Fund.

£7 ($9; €8) could provide 2 women’s hygiene kits in Cameroon

£14 ($18; €15) could provide a blanket and sleeping mat in Cameroon

£25 ($32; €27) could buy a 100kg sack of maize in Burkina Faso

£28 ($36; €31) could buy a 50kg sack of rice in Burkina Faso