Catechist kidnapped and murdered in Burkina Faso, West Africa

Burkina Faso map Credit: Peter Hermes Furian via Shutterstock

The pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) on April 19 condemned the kidnapping and murder of a catechist in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

In a news brief, ACN informed ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, that catechist Edouard Yougbare was kidnapped on Thursday night by “terrorists, and his lifeless body was found near Zigni this morning.”

According to other local sources, along with Yougbare, who was a member of  Saatenga parish in Fada Gourma, Burkina Faso, more people were kidnapped and murdered.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of Yougbare. He served his community faithfully and his death is a devastating blow for the people of Saatenga,” lamented Spaniard María Lozano, press and public relations director of ACN International.

“Catechists in Burkina Faso are on the front lines, risking their lives for the good of their people. Just two months ago, another catechist was murdered in the Diocese of Dori while leading a Sunday celebration in a chapel,” she noted.

ACN encouraged all the faithful to pray for the families of the victims and the people of Saatenga, hit hard by these events.

Perilous security situation in Burkina Faso

“The security situation in Burkina Faso has become drastic in recent years, with Christians being particularly targeted by terrorist groups inspired by Islamic extremism,” ACN explained.

In the city of Essakane in the Diocese of Dori, 15 Christians were killed and two others were injured by terrorists during Sunday Mass on Feb. 25.

In January 2023, the Diocese of Dédougou reported that Father Jacques Yaro Zerbo, 67, was murdered by unidentified armed men in the country’s northwest.

In May 2019, Spanish Salesian Father Fernando Hernández, 60, was murdered by a former cook at the Salesian center in the town of Bobo Dioulasso.

The violence in the country is part of a broader conflict that involves several countries in the African Sahel region, such as Mali, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria, where Christians also suffer persecution.

ACN remains committed to helping the Church in Burkina Faso. In 2023, it collaborated on 56 projects in the country with an investment of more than 1 million euros (about $107 million.)

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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