Minor Seminary in Burkina Faso Attacked
No lives were lost in the attack, which took place the night of Feb. 10-11.
FADA N’GOURMA, Burkina Faso — St. Kisito de Bougui, a minor seminary in Burkina Faso, was attacked overnight, the pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need announced Friday.
No lives were lost in the attack, which took place the night of Feb. 10-11, though “there was a lot of material damage.”
St. Kisito de Bougui is located in Bougui, about 5 miles east of Fada N’gourma. It is home to seven formators and 146 minor seminarians.
ACN said it had been informed by local partners “that the jihadists came by motorbikes” late in the evening of Feb. 10, and stayed at the seminary for an hour.
The attackers burned two dormitories, a classroom, and a vehicle. Another vehicle was stolen.
A crucifix was destroyed, and the assailants said “they don’t want to see crosses,” telling the seminarians, according to ACN, “they should go now, that they will come back and if somebody remains there they will kill them.”
The pontifical charity said the seminarians are now with their families for a week, and some residents of Bougui are leaving the town.
Burkina Faso, located in West Africa, has seen an increase in Islamist violence in recent years.
A coup took place in the country last month, and the new president has emphasized the importance of restoring security.
The new head of the Burkinabé armed forces, David Kabre, said Feb. 9, “My taking over command coincides with a badly degraded security situation marked by the resurgence of terrorist attacks in several parts of the country,” AFP reported.
Several churches were attacked in 2019, and last year the body of a missing priest was found in a forest.
In December 2019, Bishop Justin Kientega of Ouahigouya said one such church attack was part of an attempt by radical Islamists to “provoke a conflict between the religions in a country where Christians and Muslims have always lived peaceably side by side.”
About 6o% of the Burkinabé population is Muslim, 23% is Christian (most of whom are Catholic), and 15% follow traditional indigenous beliefs.