The Catholic Church leader said the prayer day was an occasion to “ask God to grant all Burkinabe to feel like sons and daughters of this country and that each one can work so that no one feels excluded.”
Burkina Faso has been at the center of terrorist attacks for years now. Several major Islamic terrorist groups, affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), are active in the predominantly Muslim nation.
Insecurity in the Sahel nation has, according to CIA World Factbook, displaced 1.7 million people and led to significant jumps in humanitarian needs and food insecurity,
Also speaking during the May 20 Eucharistic celebration, the Archbishop of Ouagadougou, Philippe Cardinal Ouédraogo underscored the need for peace in the West African nation.
“Peace is a gift from God; peace is also the fruit of human efforts,” Cardinal Ouédraogo said, and urged the people of God in Burkina Faso to “unite their voices to ask God for the grace of peace.”
He recalled the painful situation of many families “bereaved and afflicted by a high number of wounded, widows, orphans and internally displaced persons”, and wondered what could be done to “silence the guns in favor of dialogue and negotiation for peace.”
The Burkinabe Cardinal invited the people of God in Burkina Faso to “dream together and work to bring down the walls of hatred, the walls of misunderstanding, the walls of intolerance and egoism and build bridges of dialogue, fraternity, mutual respect, forgiveness, true love, a guarantee of reconciliation and an authentic fraternal living together.”
On his part, the Apostolic Nuncio in Burkina Faso, Archbishop Michael Francis Crotty, encouraged the people of God in the West African country to “cry out to God in faith.”
Archbishop Crotty said that Pope Francis is close to the people of God in Burkina Faso, and urged them to remain firm in their faith, “for it is only in faith that we can and must cry out to God and ask Him to extend His mighty hand and strong arm to establish us in His peace.”
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.