In years gone by, Africa was a captivating travel destination. Prospective tourists once dreamed about Mt. Kilimanjaro, colorful ethnic performances, and, of course, safaris. But these days African journeys are notably less enticing. The continent is beset by crippling poverty, widespread political corruption, ever-increasing terrorism – and, of course, the present pandemic. At the same time, millions of Africans suffer under the continuous threat of violence.

Notably, no African population experiences these misfortunes as acutely as the continent’s 685 million Christians. In January, Britain’s Guardian related that worldwide,

“…more than 340 million Christians — one in eight — face high levels of persecution and discrimination because of their faith, according to the 2021 World Watch List compiled by the Christian advocacy group Open Doors. It says there was a 60 percent increase over the previous year in the number of Christians killed for their faith.”

The Guardian’s account went on to say that more than nine out of 10 of the global total of 4,761 deaths were of African Christians. Here’s a look at how that happened and, when relevant, how the U.S. is responding.

African Christians Are Attacked Throughout the Continent
Women in Jos, Nigeria, mourn as they march against a recent bout of sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians. (CNN)

In Mozambique, stunning recent reports in November 2020 revealed that ISIS had attacked innumerable civilians, abducting women and children and torching homes. Al Jazeera described some 50 innocent people — many of them Catholics — being “herded” to their death on a soccer field. There, they were systematically decapitated and dismembered. Due to a hapless and futile government response, ISIS has continued its ferocious assaults, most recently on January 2, 2021.

On March 15, the New York Times said of the American involvement in Mozambique: “Modest in size and scope: a dozen Army Green Berets are to train Mozambican marines for the next two months. But [this] signals the entry of the United States military into a counterinsurgency effort that has been aided so far mainly by South African mercenaries, who have faced accusations of human rights abuses.”

In Somalia – the notorious site of Black Hawk Down – Christians must vigilantly hide their faith. One family was recently jailed for having converted to Christianity from Islam and accused of evangelizing. This is a capital crime under strictly enforced Shari’a law. Similar court cases continue.

In Burkina Faso, savage carnage has erupted, with more than a million Christians displaced. “The terrorism activities have hit us so quickly,” one pastor explained. “These groups moved in and took control… Many areas of Burkina’s northern and eastern regions have now become ‘no-go’ areas.”