Between Niger and Burkina Faso, Christians suffer violence from jihadists, but their churches remain full
"We live with fear in our stomachs, but we move forward together with Christ who gives us his word that consoles us every day. Despite the situation, our faith is increasing, our churches are full every Sunday for prayer."
On the border between Niger and Burkina Faso, Christians live in areas heavily affected by Islamic jihadism. But catechists from Makalondi, Bomoanga, Kankani and Torodi sent to theAgenzia Fides a moving declaration of faith.
"We have come to announce to you that we have joy in our hearts despite the security situation prevailing in the area; we still have faith in Jesus Christ", they say.
For despite fear, violence and death, their faith increases and the churches are filled.
"We have relatives arrested, killed or kidnapped during moments of prayer, but Jesus gives us words that console us. We live with fear in our stomachs, but we move forward together with Christ who gives us his word that consoles us every day. Despite the situation, our faith is increasing, our churches are full every Sunday for prayer. Whatever the situation, we continue to pray always in the chapel as in the family according to the realities of each environment."
"We continue to announce the good news, with the faith that Jesus himself left us without being discouraged despite the situation we live in every day", they continue, before giving the reasons for their happiness.
“We have the joy of listening every day to the word of God which gives us advice to overcome the security situation in our different environments. We have the joy of being Christians whom Jesus himself has prepared to be ready for all situations that happen to us in his name, he is with us throughout our lives."
Catechists even write beatitudes.
“Blessed are all those who live in areas where peace is totally absent, and who cannot bring the good news to the poor. Blessed are all those who are isolated because of the insecurity in the area and who have no no more to eat and no acceptable situation. Blessed are those whose priest has been kidnapped and who continue to pray. Blessed are those who no longer have means of transport, nor the network to communicate but who continue to announce the good news."