Burkina Faso Mennonites and Muslims nearing hearse goal

Ali Koro, left, and Siaka Traoré celebrate a fruitful effort to purchase a hearse in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. — Mennonite Mission Network Ali Koro, left, and Siaka Traoré celebrate a fruitful effort to purchase a hearse in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. — Mennonite Mission Network

Mennonites and Muslims in Burkina Faso are one step closer to purchasing a hearse for use by both groups.

The collaboration is significant because many Muslims have concerns about their dead coming in contact with non-Muslims. But leaders of the Evangelical Mennonite Church of Burkina Faso determined the partnership was an opportunity to build relationships and show that Christians are people of compassion and peace.

After issuing a call on March 31 requesting North American Mennonites join with brothers and sisters in Burkina Faso to build understanding with Muslim neighbors, Pastor Siaka Traoré reported that Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission transferred $8,504 to the Burkina Faso Partnership Council to purchase a hearse. Local Muslims are providing $600, and the Mennonite congregations of Bobo-Dioulasso are providing $400.

Traoré said an intermediary who delivered the Muslims’ request to their Mennonite neighbors told him on May 30 that one of the Muslim leaders remarked that Christians are extraordinary people.

“He said that if a Christian was to ask for assistance from Muslims, the first condition would be to convert to Islam, otherwise the Christian would not receive anything,” he recalled. “Thank you for sharing real love.”

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