Published: 12:00 GMT Daylight Time – Friday 04 October 2013
Country/Region: Africa, Guinea
Christian families in Guinea are in a desperate plight, having been forced to live in makeshift shelters in the bush after their homes were destroyed in a severe outbreak of violence. Barnabas is providing aid.
|Barnabas has sent aid to help Christians driven from their homes|
Churches and Christian properties were targeted by a Muslim tribe in N’Zerekore and two other towns in the south-eastern Forested Guinea region in mid-July. Within the space of 24 hours, 11 church buildings were destroyed and the homes and shops of many Christians looted and torched.
Christians suffered horrendous violence during the rampage. One woman was seized by the Muslim attackers, who tortured her and covered her in petrol before setting her alight. They left her screaming in agony, saying, “She is dead, let us not waste our time here.”
Miraculously, she survived, after hiding in an abandoned building for three days with severe burns to her head, back, shoulders and arms before being taken to hospital.
This was just one of many shocking cases.
Barnabas Fund is working through local churches to help those in greatest need. We are prioritising Christian families who lost everything in the attacks, providing them with essentials including food supplies, kitchen utensils, clothing, medical assistance, sleeping mats, blankets and mosquito nets.
|Christians whose homes were destroyed are living in the woods|
Guinea is 85% Muslim, with Christians comprising around five per cent of the population. Islamic extremism is increasing in the south-eastern region, where the Christian community is concentrated. One N’Zerekore resident told Al-Jazeera, “The Muslims want to impose their religion on us”; he said that they were “trying to build mosques and convert everyone”.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said:
Our brothers and sisters in Guinea are suffering dreadfully as a result of targeted violence against them. Some have lost absolutely everything, and we are glad to be able to ease the burden by providing them with everyday essentials. Please help if you can