Burkina Faso: Preserving the Religious Balance
|Title||Burkina Faso: Preserving the Religious Balance|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Subtitle / Series Title||Africa Report N°240|
|Institution||International Crisis Group|
Burkina Faso’s great religious diversity and tolerance make it an exception in Africa’s sub-Saharan Sahel. Its model of religious coexistence remains solid but could be at risk of being eroded. For several years now, Muslim leaders have complained that Muslims are under-represented in the civil service and that the administration is not always even-handed in its treatment of Christianity and Islam. Meanwhile, the rising tide of religiously motivated violence in West Africa and the Sahel has created a new regional context. As Burkina is recovering from a period of instability following the October 2014 downfall of former President Blaise Compaoré, and faced with a security emergency and strong social pressures, the government could be tempted to ignore these developments. It would be risky to raise the sensitive issue of religion in a country where religious identity is of secondary importance. But the government must take steps now to ease frustrations and regulate religious discourse to safeguard Burkina’s model of peaceful coexistence.