West Africa, Sahel Listed as 2022 Persecution Hotspots
01/06/2022 Africa (International Christian Concern) –Release International has recently named West Africa as a potential hotspot for Christian Persecution in 2022.
In December, the Christian watchdog group released their 2022 Persecution Trends Report, in which they included Nigeria and Burkina Faso on their list of “countries of growing concern.” They also listed the Sahel as a region of growing Christian persecution.
“Islamist extremists are gaining ground, not only in Nigeria, but also in the Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa,” stated the report. “In Burkina Faso, jihadists targeted Christians in the north of the country in 2021, forcing churches to close and meet in secret.”
“Attacks ranged from bombings, killings, kidnappings and school burnings to assaults on religious leaders and places of worship”.
The Sahel is home to some of the poorest countries in the world, but at the same time, the fastest growing populations. The majority of these populations are farmers or herders, and desertification is taking away their livelihoods which is fueling ethnic clashes and furthering division amongst communities. Jihadist groups, motivated by their desire to create a caliphate across the Sahel, capitalize on the political instability in these areas and grievances of the people to recruit members to their cause.
Please pray for all of those who are persecuted, that God’s love would comfort and strengthen them in their trials, and that He will use his church to reach all who are in need. Please also pray for those who persecute the church, that they will experience the love of God, accept it, and be granted true repentance.
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