Africa on Fire

Anti-Christian Fanatics Increase Attacks on Missions and Churches. Indigenous Ministries See Opportunities in Suffering.

April 27, 2011

Calling for increased prayer, Rae Burnett, Africa Director at Virginia-based Christian Aid Mission, has confirmed reports that many thousands of Christians in North Africa and Nigeria spent the Easter holidays locked behind closed doors for their safety.

On desert sands in North Africa, Rae Burnett interviews indigenous mission leaders about current needs in their ministry.

"We need to pray for our fellow believers, not only in Nigeria but also throughout North Africa," says Burnett. "Many of our brothers and sisters in these areas are undergoing severe and increasing persecution. Native missionaries survive and minister in what seems to be a continual state of war or political upheaval - particularly right now in Egypt, Ivory Coast, Libya, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Somalia and Sudan."

As Africa Director for Christian Aid, Rae Burnett has travelled extensively in North Africa, the most neglected and hard to reach part of the continent.

"I have met underground believers secretly in tents and on the desert. Sometimes, we sit together in a noisy public place, over coffee or a meal, where they are sure there is no surveillance.

"Under threat of persecution and even death, these men and women are quietly, wisely, and successfully bringing the gospel to their people. Scrutiny has greatly increased since the recent unrest, and I am so grateful to have these working contacts in place during this time of intensified crisis. But it must be understood, for these men and women, every moment of their lives has been potentially dangerous since the day they became followers of Christ."