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1/09/2023 Burkina Faso (International Christian Concern) – On Monday, January 2, a Catholic priest was murdered by unidentified armed men. The priest, Father Jacques Yaro Zerbo, lived in the village of Soro in northwest Burkina Faso. He was 67 years old.   

According to a report by ACI Africa, the shooters proceeded to take the priest’s vehicle and other belongings after they had killed him. 

Father Zerbo had been a priest since 1986 and had founded a youth re-education center where he worked with young people.   

Militants linked to al-Qaeda and ISIS began initiating more and more violent attacks in Burkina Faso starting in 2015. The violence seen in Burkina Faso is part of a broader trend of jihadism that has displaced 2.3 million people across West Africa’s Sahel region. 

Human rights NGO Release International said in its recently released Persecution Trends 2022 report, “The situation facing Christians in Burkina Faso is now similar to Nigeria,” where terror groups like Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province have killed thousands and displaced millions.   

Release International further warned that the combination of Burkina Faso’s weak central government and the 2022 withdrawal of French troops would likely increase the instability in the region.   

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