Attacks against Nigerian Christians — third week in a row

By June 12, 2012

Nigeria (MNN) — For the third weekend in a row, Christians in Nigeria were targets of deadly violence by Islamist militants. Reports indicate this time at least four people were killed in two separate attacks. These attacks hit the cities of Biu and Jos.

In the first attack, gunmen sprayed bullets as Christians attended church on Sunday in Biu. Four people died while more than 40 others were injured. The second act of violence was a car bombing outside a church in Jos. While nobody died in that attack; dozens were injured.

Africa Director of Christian Aid Mission Rae Burnett says this is just the tip of the iceberg. "There are a lot of reports that aren't getting to the news. A motorcycle rides by and shoots people in the store. Cars are being hijacked. There are individuals — supporters of the work that is being done among the Islamic tribes in Northern Nigeria [being targeted]."

Why is it happening? Burnett says, "This is really the nature of Islam. And we're seeing it worldwide. We're not only seeing it in Nigeria."

Burnett says that's not politically correct, but she says it's the truth. "There are a lot of people who were born into Islam, and they just want to live a peaceful happy life. But when you read the Quran and you see what it says, and what the Hadith say, and what serious Islamic teachers says, you see it's not a religion of peace."

She says, "You relate to anyone who is a non-Muslim by converting them, or by killing them."

The violence is taking place because radicals want Sharia (Islamic) law. Burnett says, "Mostly, you've got nominal Muslims and they don't want Sharia because it's too restrictive." That's why many Muslims are also being attacked in the conflict.

Burnett says God is using Christian Aid to support and assist national Christians. "The main [group] that I'm helping is making tremendous inroads into Islamic areas throughout the north. It's like the Lord is exploding the work in the last few years."

However, the organization's home base is not in a good area, says Burnett. "This town that they're in is continually under siege by Boko Haram, although it's totally unreported. The missionaries are not retreating. Now they are really alarmed that they're being targeted. They're trying to move from that area."

Burnett says they have a huge funding need. "The first really big need is for this ministry to move its headquarters. [It'll cost] $35,000 for them to move all of their people and their headquarters to Abuja."

Funding is also needed to help supply transportation to believers who are sharing their faith in this difficult region of Nigeria. If you can help with a financial gift, click here.

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