Jihadist attacks are continuing in Burkina Faso, and the latest attack leaves 14 churchgoers killed by gunmen.

A church in Hantoukoura, the eastern region of Burkina Faso, was targeted on Sunday, December 1. It was reported by BBC that at least 14 were killed after several gunmen opened fire within the service. 

Local authorities report that the pastor and children were killed and that many other church attendees are injured as a result of the attack. The gunmen were seen fleeing on scooters. 

It is still unknown who orchestrated the attack or why but the country has been in a state of turmoil since 2015 when Jihadist attacks escalated and increased. 

Ethnic and religious tensions are rising and hundreds of people are being killed primarily by Jihadist groups. The border of Mali, in particular, sees many tensions. The Sahel region, which includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger are overrun with terrorist attacks. Recently around 100,000 have fled the region due to the militants. 

Residents and citizens are frustrated and idle due to high rates of unemployment and lack of infrastructure in Burkina Faso. This state of affairs provides a growing recruitment pool for Jihadists. 

This is not the first religious case and seems to not be the last based on the tensions. Christians are consistently targeted by these terrorist groups.  

A spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs USA, Todd Nettleton says to Mission Network News, “The natural response is sort of for everyone to hunker down and almost hide and become more quiet and more private in your following Christ. Let’s pray that Christians there will not do that, but will continue to be bold witnesses for Christ, and reach out to others.”