Local Missionaries in Burkina Faso
This landlocked country in West Africa has a population that is 60.5 percent Muslim, but both Muslims and Christians in Burkina Faso also practice beliefs from indigenous tribal religions. A little more than 20 percent of the population describe themselves as Christian.
With French as the principal language and 69 other languages spoken in the country, Burkina Faso’s people belong to two major West African ethnic groups, the Voltaic and the Mande. The Voltaic Mossi who make up about half the population claim descent from warriors who migrated from Ghana around 1100 AD and established an empire that lasted more than 800 years.
Most Muslims are from the Sunni branch. In the peculiar blend of Islam and tribal animism practiced in some parts of Burkina Faso, a shaman or Marabout earns money as a traditional “healer,” providing trinkets and incantations attributed with power to keep malicious spirits and other beings at bay.
At least seven tribes are proving receptive to the message of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and local missionaries seek assistance to send 40 more workers to them and support them the first few months. Eventually the church-planters plan to set up small businesses in order to support themselves.
A local ministry also plans to send 90 new Christians from the predominantly Muslim, ethnic Fulani to plant churches among their own people. The ministry requests help to train the church planters. The training involves instruction in church planting, discipleship and skills needed to start businesses, such as sewing, for their livelihood.
Local missionaries also need assistance purchasing 1,500 Bibles and 600 audio Bibles to provide to those who are hearing the gospel for the first time.
Sources: Joshua Project, CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia, Missions Insider
How to Pray for
- Pray that Christ’s light would penetrate the darkness of witchcraft and other occult practices ingrained in centuries of ancestral religion.
- Pray that God would strengthen and purify churches tainted by animistic beliefs and rituals.
- Pray for wisdom and protection for local missionaries sharing Christ with Muslims.
More stories from Burkina Faso
When a local missionary visited an influential villager identified as a “man of peace,” a Muslim trader was present who cast spells to harm competing vendors; hearing them discuss an impending gospel gathering, he also attended and put his faith in Christ.
Yacouba Sanou had helped his father, a Muslim traditional healer, in black magic as far back as he could remember. Knowledge of spell-casting and other occultic practices formed part of his armor and arsenal as a young man active in politics, but it left him defenseless against a poison attack by a political opponent.
Mamadou was a shaman in West Africa who made amulets and charms inscribed with verses of the Koran for people trying to ward off illness and evil forces. In the peculiar blend of Islam and tribal animism practiced in some parts of Burkina Faso, a shaman can make a decent living as a traditional “healer” providing trinkets and incantations attributed with power to keep malicious spirits and other beings at bay.