Iran’s Southwest experienced a horrific twin bombing terror attack, resulting in the loss of at least 91 innocent lives. This tragic event marks a significant blow to Iran, with the possibility of retaliation looming. The responsibility for the attack has been claimed by ISIS K, a group of around 4000 individuals, mainly based in Afghanistan.
Pray for the victims of violence and terrorism. We take away their fear and uncertainty in Jesus’ Name (The Holy Bible, Jeremiah 17:17).
Formerly known as Persia, Iran retains its identity as one of the greatest empires of the ancient world. They have maintained their language, culture, and Shia interpretation of Islam. In recent years there has been an increasing internal divide between hard-line and moderate Muslims. Internationally backed US sanctions have taken a significant toll on the economy resulting in protests on the street and greater dissatisfaction with the Islamic clerics. Protests were brutally squashed, only fuelling the tensions. The COVID-19 virus has ravaged the nation, further exposing the government to criticism, however, elections that took place this year returned a hard-liner government to power. The evangelical church has continued to see incredible growth. House churches carry great influence and their growth has resulted in ongoing arrests and restrictions on Christians.
Islamic extremists kill, torture, and sexually assault innocent civilians in Burkina Faso. The military juntas were unable to contain the violence, especially with the absence of seasoned French troops who fought the terrorists until they left. The military junta overthrew the elected government in Burkina Faso. Under Russia’s influence, the French counterterrorism troops left the country. The plan to get Wagner mercenaries to combat Islamic extremists has not gone to plan so far. Although the mercenaries were successful in Syria against the Islamic State, Africa is a different bet altogether. The core group of mercenaries are convicted criminals who opted to fight for Wagner instead of staying in jail. They are not trained in counterterrorism or expected to be compassionate to the local population. The greed of the military leadership heading the junta in Burkina Faso extends extreme grief on its citizenry.
Heavenly Father, we stand against unholy alliances that have formed between military juntas, oppressive regimes, mercenaries, and Islamic extremists in Burkina Faso with evil intentions in their hearts against innocent people (The Bible, Joshua 9:1-2).
Burkina Faso moves to 23rd position in the World Watch report 2023 by Open Doors for Christian persecution. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba is the interim president. sworn in on 16 February. On March 1, 2022. Burkina Faso is Africa’s fourth largest gold producer. It has so much potential, but the country also has the world’s fourth-lowest rating on the UN’s human development index. The country continues to struggle economically as well as with corruption. Disease, malnutrition, and low education levels are major issues. Freedom does exist in religion. In the Sahel region, Islamist extremist groups have a huge and growing influence. Jihadist violence has been rapidly increasing in recent years and militants have taken control of large parts of the eastern region. This has led to numerous attacks on Churches and hundreds of Church closures.