Christians told to convert or flee in Burkina Faso as extremist violence continues: report | 9/21/2019 | Staff
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A leading Catholic charity is reporting that thousands of Christians in northern Burkina Faso fled their homes this month and are seeking shelter in another village after they were given the choice to either flee or convert by Islamic extremists.

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As tens of thousands in northern Burkina Faso are being displaced each month because of extremist violence and insecurity in the region, a source told Aid to the Church in Need that nearly 2,000 people fled from their homes in the villages of Hitté and Rounga in September.

A local source who spoke with the Catholic charity and requested anonymity detailed what happened in Hitté.

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“At the beginning of September, 16 men arrived in the village, intercepting the villagers who were returning from the fields,” the local source was quoted as saying.

“Some of the men forced the people to enter the church where they threatened the Christians and ordered them to leave their homes in the next three days, while others set fire to whatever they found in their path.”

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Because of this, the source said, Hitté no longer has any Christians.

Following the ultimatum given in Hitté, the militants are said to have traveled to Rounga, where villagers there faced a similar type of evacuation ultimatum.

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“Almost 2,000 people have fled these two villages alone,” the source estimated, adding that the displaced families have found shelter in another village.

“They are by no means the only ones facing this situation,” the source added. “[R]ather, they are just part of a program by the jihadists who are deliberately sowing terror, assassinating members of the Christian communities and forcing the remaining Christians to flee after warning them that they will return in three days’ time — and that they do not wish to find any Christians or...
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