By Ngala Killian Chimtom, Catholic News Service
As insecurity and political chaos continue in Burkina Faso, Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo called for prayers as the best way out of the crises.
“Our Kalashnikov of response is prayer. This means that we must intensify our prayer in this month of October for peace, peace in our country and everywhere in the world,” the cardinal said Oct. 2 in a statement, after Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba was ousted in a coup.
Damiba came to power in a coup in January. On Oct. 2, he left for Togo, and Capt. Ibrahim Traore proclaimed himself the country’s new leader.
Cardinal Ouédraogo said the country was confronted with “murderous terrorism” that leaves in its wake bereaved families, with “many men, women and children being direct or collateral victims of this unjust and useless violence.”
Several people have been killed and thousands forced to flee from their homes since terrorists started attacking the country in 2015.
On Oct. 3, the government said 11 soldiers were killed and about 50 civilians went missing in the north of the country following a “barbaric attack” by suspected jihadists.
Between Aug. 15 and Sept. 15, a military offensive left at least 80 terrorists dead, according to military sources.
“Faced with these challenges of terrorism and political instability, the church, which is closely linked to the world and its history, can only be a sign and witness of solidarity by promoting a world of love and fraternity,” Cardinal Ouédraogo said.
He called on people to pray at Mass, because Mass “is the source and summit of all Christian life.” He also urged people to participate in eucharistic adoration, the rosary and novenas.
“Let us pray together for all the victims of the terrorist attacks, for the bereaved families and for the conversion of those who cause death,” the cleric said.