These four Christians are the newest martyrs, singled out because they were Christians and killed for wearing a visible sign of their faith in Christ. This kind of incident is becoming increasingly common worldwide. We pray that these new martyrs, and all the holy saints and martyrs, would intercede for all Orthodox Christians living today, and Christians of all faith traditions, so that the persecution that continues to be rampant worldwide would be abated; or if it is not, that we, too, would have the courage, faith, and love for Christ to confess Him to the end, even at the cost of our lives.
“All 4 wore crosses—new Burkina Faso attack leaves believers dead,” by Lindy Lowry, Open Doors USA, July 11, 2019:
They had just gathered to share stories and the happenings of the day—like West African communities often do in the evenings–when strangers entered their village in northern Burkina Faso. Before the group left, they had killed four believers and had set fire to the shop of one of the Christians they executed.
Our field is reporting that on Thursday, June 27, unidentified armed individuals entered the village of Bani (about six miles from the town of Bourzanga), looking for Christians. According to testimonies gathered from survivors, the militants told everyone to lie down and proceeded to look for Christians by asking for first names or looking for anyone wearing Christian insignia (like crosses).
The deadly search yielded four men: David Zoungrana, his younger brother Philippe, Theophile Ouedraogo and Ernest Kassoaga. They were all wearing crosses. Contacts on the ground tell us that when they saw crosses, the assailants singled them out. All four were taken aside and executed.
At this stage, we don’t know their ages or anything about the families David, Philippe, Theophile and Ernest left behind. Just that they followed Jesus—and their faith was part of them. They weren’t afraid to make a public statement of their belief in an area known internationally for its display of seven adobe mosques–six of which are built at the top of Bani’s main hill.
Before the terrorists left the village, they torched the shop that belonged to Zoungrana. Then they moved on to another village, Pougrenoma, also in the Bourzanga region. There, they warned residents against calling in any government officials or military forces, indicating they would return. They also told Christians to convert or risk execution.
New Burkina Faso attack brings death toll to 27
The details of the latest attack are eerily similar to the onslaught of killings targeting Christians and churches in Burkina Faso this year. These latest murders bring the death toll of Christians killed in attacks since February to 27. In several attacks, including this one, the armed terrorists challenged Christians to convert or die….
Photo by Adam Jones, Ph.D. – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22141163