Insecurity “persists” in Burkina Faso, 30 Parishes “remain closed, inaccessible”: Bishops

Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Burkina Faso and Niger (CEBN). Credit: Radio Notre Dame Kaya/Notre Dame TV

The persistent insecurity in Burkina Faso has taken a heavy toll on the pastoral activities of the local churches, with some 30 Parishes remaining inaccessible, Catholic Bishops in the West African nation have said.

In a statement following their February 12-18 Plenary Assembly in Burkina Faso’s Catholic Diocese of Kaya, members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Burkina Faso and Niger (CEBN) say, “Insecurity persists, and its impact on the life of these particular Churches is very damaging.”

“Overall, some thirty parishes and their associated structures (presbyteries, religious communities, health and education facilities, etc.) remain closed or inaccessible,” CEBN members say in the February 18 statement.

They note that the “consequence of this is the decline of socio-economic works in some places, the loss of job security for pastoral workers, the impoverishment of the population, especially in the affected areas, and the continuing phenomenon of internally displaced persons, which is causing socio-demographic upheavals in a noxious social climate.”

“The Church must therefore be resilient if it is to find appropriate responses to current situations,” Catholic Bishops in Burkina Faso and Niger say.


Burkina Faso has been at the center of terrorist attacks for multiple years. Several major Islamic terrorist groups that are affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are active in the predominantly Muslim nation. 

According to CIA World Factbook, terrorist groups have been behind insecurity in Burkina Faso. “Terrorist groups - including groups affiliated with Al-Qa’ida and the Islamic State - began attacks in the country in 2016 and conducted attacks in the capital in 2016, 2017, and 2018,” the report indicates. 

“By early 2023, insecurity in Burkina Faso had displaced more than 2 million people and led to significant jumps in humanitarian needs and food insecurity,” the report further indicates.

It continues, “In addition to terrorism, the country faces a myriad of problems including high population growth, recurring drought, pervasive and perennial food insecurity, and limited natural resources. It is one of the world’s poorest countries.”

In their February 18 collective statement, CBCN members thank the law enforcement agencies in the Sahel nation for their “positive efforts” to bring peace to the country.

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The Sahel region spans 5,400 km and encompasses Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, and Eritrea.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.