On October 24, Burundi Union President, Lamec Barishinga, was arrested on his way to meetings at the East-Central African division offices in Nairobi, Kenya. This arrest is the latest in an escalating series of events between the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the government of Burundi.
In May, through the Adventist News Network and the Adventist Review, Seventh-day Adventist world church president, Ted N.C. Wilson, asked for urgent prayer for the Adventist members in Burundi. The request came after 22 Adventist leaders and members in the central African nation were arrested and detained. The arrests were ordered by the national government and followed months of illegal interference on the part of the Burundi government in the administration of the Adventist Church in that country.
In addition, a group connected with the former union president, with support from the government, has taken control of church buildings preventing current church administration from entering. Intimidation and assault of Adventists by Burundi police officers has also been captured on video and posted on social media. Despite months of prayer and attempts to negotiate with the government for the release of the buildings and cessation of abuse, little progress has been made.