Islam News & Commentary Persecution

Islamic militants massacre 14 Christians during church service, five young boys among the dead

Islamic militants have shot dead 14 Christians during a Sunday morning church service in Komondjari Province, south-east Burkina Faso.

According to the Barnabas Fund, the December 1 attack left 14 members of the Ouba family dead, including five boys, 16-years and younger. The pastor of the church, Tchitchiéba Ouoba, was also killed.

It was reported that the jihadist attackers slaughtered all but one male member of the congregation, while several women, and possibly young children, were said to have been left wounded.

The Barnabas Fund said the leader of the church’s denomination, Tambougou Adjima, cried uncontrollably for ten minutes while speaking with their contact.

According to Adjima, “Eighty members were gathered there [at the service] including 15 men, the rest were women and young children. Of the 15 men, 14 were killed in cold blood on the spot, when the attackers burst in shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’. Only one man among the 15 escaped this act of barbarism.”

Following the massacre, Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore tweeted, “I condemn the barbaric attack against the Protestant Church of Hantoukoura in the department of Foutouri, which left 14 dead and several wounded. I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded.”

Ongoing violence in the area has led Western countries, including the US, to issue warnings against travel to Burkina Faso, Christianity Today reported. Some US missionaries and diplomats have already evacuated their children and most have now confined their movement and activities to major cities like Ouagadougou, the capital.

Earlier this year a report commissioned by the British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt found persecution of Christians is spreading geographically and increasing in severity.

According to the findings, Christians are the most widely persecuted religion in the world. In some regions, persecution is so severe, that it’s arguably coming “close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.”

Despite this fact, the widespread persecution of Christians has been largely ignored in the West.

Rt Rev Bashar Warda, the Archbishop of Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, said the unwillingness to draw attention to the plight of Christians around the world is due to “political correctness” and a fear of being labelled “Islamophobic.”

Rt Rev Philip Mounstephen, the bishop of Truro, and chair of the Independent Review into Foreign Office’s agrees.

Speaking to BBC News, Bishop Mounstephen said he believed a culture of “political correctness” has prevented Western voices from speaking out about the persecution of Christians.

“I think though this is mainly to do with a reluctance borne of post-colonial guilt,” he said.

Juliana Taimoorazy, the president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council and senior fellow of the Philos Project, told ‘America’s News HQ’ on Saturday that ‘political correctness’ is responsible for many deaths.

“The world turns a blind eye to this, and when we are politically correct, we are sympathizing with those terrorists that are destroying communities and erasing history,” she said.

The nonprofit organisation, Aid to the Church in Need, highlighted the hypocrisy and selective-outrage, particularly of the media, saying, “At a time in the West when there is increasing media focus on the rights of people regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexuality — to name but a few — it is ironic that in many sections of the media there should be such limited coverage of the massive persecution experienced by so many Christians.”

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