Burkina Faso Mennonite leaders oppose war tax

­Calixte Bananzaro ­Calixte Bananzaro

Leaders of the Evangelical Mennonite Church of Burkina Faso expressed their opposition to a war tax and were relieved to find out the payment was not required.

The government of the West African nation recently levied a tax to fund military operations against Islamist fighters. The Federation of Evangelical Churches and Missions of Burkina Faso notified Mennonite leaders that their churches’ share of the federation’s $56,000 payment would be nearly $3,000.

Believing they should not pay a war tax, Mennonite leaders ­Siaka Traoré and ­Calixte Bananzaro met on May 26 with Henry Yé, president of the Protestant federation, to explain the Anabaptist stance on peace.

“Yé reassured us that the contribution was voluntary, contrary to what was initially communicated to us,” Traoré reported in a release from Mennonite Mission Network. “Yé was open to the possibility that the Mennonite church could promote the well-being of our country in other ways.”

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