|World Watch List Rank||28|
|World Watch List Score||66/100|
|Leader||President Marc Christian Kaboré|
|Population||20.3 million I 5,157,000|
|Main Religion||Islam 54%; Christianity 25%|
|WWL Rank in 2019|
|Persecution Level||Very High Persecution|
Burkina Faso (no. 28, up from 61 in WWL 2019), long known for its religious tolerance, has climbed into the top 50 for the first time ever. Christians here say that they are in a fight for survival. Protestant pastors and their families have been killed or kidnapped by violent
Islamic militants, and dozens of Catholic priests have been killed. Villagers wearing Christian symbols are singled out and killed on the spot.
Jihadists have replaced schools with what are called ‘Arab’ schools; churches, shops and health centres are being systematically burned down. “Inhabitants were given an ultimatum by the Islamist terrorists, who ordered them to convert to Islam or abandon their homes,” said one source.
Typical is an incident in April 2019. Militants on motorcycles arrived at a church service in a village in Burkina Faso. They confiscated all phones and ID cards and collected up Bibles and burnt them before taking the pastor and six others outside to shoot them; only one survived. In the north, more than 200 churches have closed; thousands of church members have moved into camps for the displaced, or taken refuge with friends in other regions of the country. Please pray for the Church to remain strong at this crucial time in Burkina Faso.