Catholic priest murdered in Burkina Faso: Persecuted Christians

Catholic priest murdered in Burkina Faso: Persecuted Christians

Noriko Watanabe and Chika Mori

Modern Tokyo Times

Father Jacques Yaro Zerbo was brutally murdered in Burkina Faso. This nation is plagued by Islamic terrorism. Other ills include rampant poverty and the weakening of central authority in various parts of the country.

Agenzia Fides reports, “Father Jacques Yaro Zerbo was assassinated by unidentified armed men on Monday, January 2 … the 67-year-old priest was murdered in the village of Soro, in the Boucle du Mouhoun region, in north-western Burkina Faso.”

Lee Jay Walker says, “The Islamist insurgency in Burkina Faso is relentless. In turn, this is leading to social, political, and military convulsions. Hence, the recent military coup is intended to strengthen the security apparatus to counter the Islamist threat.”

Kassoum Coulibaly, the Defence Minister of Burkina Faso, said, “Every citizen should be aware that this is essentially a war in which our common destiny is at stake, meaning the survival of our nation.” 

Illia Djadi, a sub-Saharan Africa analyst for Open Doors, said, “Islamist militants are waging an insurgency to establish a Caliphate, an Islamic State ruled by Islamic law or Sharia. Thus non-Muslims are their prime target… When there is chaos and disorder, they flourish and further their aims. And that is what is happening now with the current unrest.”

After the coup, Captain Ibrahim Traore announced that Lt-Col Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba had failed to stem the tide against Islamists. Hence, the new military leaders of Burkina Faso seek to recruit 50,000 new members to the Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland (VDP).

This VDP began to assist the security apparatus in late 2019. However, the new leadership seeks to expand this force to stem terrorist forces.

Modern Tokyo Times recently said, “Burkina Faso and other regional nations need support on multiple fronts. However, this assistance needs to be sincere and not a diktat from outside hegemons.”

The recent murder of Father Jacques Yaro Zerbo is a grim reminder that 2023 is set to follow a similar pattern. Thus the international community and regional nations need to support Burkina Faso – and other nations plagued by religious extremism by supporting internal forces.

Voice of America reports (November 2022)“Burkina Faso’s defense minister on Tuesday declared the country was fighting for “survival” in its seven-year-old battle with jihadists as he urged the public to throw themselves into the campaign.”

Government forces in Burkina Faso seek to preserve the nation-state against disintegration.

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