Bishop in Burkina Faso in Solidarity with Catholics Skipping Mass for Fear of Attacks

Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré of the Catholic Diocese of Dori in Burkina Faso. Credit: ACN

Many people no longer attend Holy Mass in Burkina Faso for fear of jihadist attacks, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dori has said, and expressed his closeness with those who fear for their lives.

According to Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré, 50 percent of the West African country is occupied by terrorists, and many Catholic Parishes have been left abandoned as their members stay away for fear of attacks.

Commenting on the large number of Catholics skipping public worship in an interview with the Pontifical charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, Bishop Birfuoré says, “We understand them and do not ask them to go beyond their courage.”

He says that in Burkina Faso, terror is directed against all residents of the country “who do not profess the same Islam as the jihadists, including Muslims.”

Most notorious in the West African country, he says, is a jihadist group identified as “Support Group for Islam and Muslims”, which the Bishop of Dori says “is becoming clear that the actual goal is to oppress today's society, which is a multi-religious society of dialogue and coexistence.”


Bishop Birfuoré shared with ACN that owing to jihadism in Burkina Faso, three of the six Parishes in his Diocese had to be abandoned for security reasons.

He says that the people of Burkina Faso are exhausted, and adds, “Many have lost family members; there is also a lot of material destruction.”

Bishop Birfuoré adds that the Church tries to stay in touch with its members through radio and donations.

“Sometimes we managed to send food and relief supplies to remote areas. We adapt to the situation as best we can,” the Catholic Bishop who also chairs the Joint Bishops' Conference of Burkina Faso and Niger, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Burkina Faso and Niger (CEBN), says.

Burkina Faso has been ravaged by Islamist troops since 2015. According to ACN, these troops are recruited from the local population and from abroad.

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