Deadly violence in Nigeria after Christian president elected

By April 21, 2011

Nigeria
(ODM/MNN) — Deadly violence greeted the results of Nigeria's April 16
presidential election.

On
Monday, violence erupted in the northern and predominantly-Muslim states of
Adamawa, Bauchi, Jigawa,
Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Gombe, Yobe and Katsina. Rampaging youths
took to the streets in protest against the election victory of President
Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian politician of the ruling People's Democratic
Party. 

The
main opposition presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, has alleged
widespread irregularities in the election but said he would pursue his
complaints through legal means. Despite his call for calm, roughly 40,000 are
fleeing new unrest. Area media reported
fresh clashes Tuesday night in the northern state of Kaduna.

Open
Doors
has confirmed reports of a deadly toll on churches, Christian homes and
businesses, mission compounds and pastors.

They
say that more than 60 churches were torched, thousands of houses belonging to
Christians were destroyed, and both pastors and church workers killed in the
areas from Maiduguri to Sokoto in northern Nigeria. Open Doors has also received reports of
unrest in the Malumfashi area, Katsina state, where all the houses in a mission compound were
torched. Numerous churches have also been destroyed and several pastors killed.

Rural
areas didn't escape the onslaught either. Christians were seen fleeing villages, abandoning their homes for fear
of attack.

"Please
pray for us," asks Isaac, a
member of the local Open Doors team.   

A
24-hour curfew has been imposed in Kaduna, as destruction of property in the
villages was taking place at the time of reporting.

In
Kano state, many churches were burned down. Reports reaching Open Doors disclosed that
security agents were exchanging fire, causing the deaths of many protesters. By Wednesday, it was calmer but tense, with
the soldiers patrolling the streets.

Losses
in Yobe state were heavy for believers. Open Doors reports that all the churches burned down, along with offices and
homes belonging to Christians.

An
Open Doors co-worker says Jos–located in Plateau state, central Nigeria–is
calm today following fighting Monday between security forces and Muslim
protestors.

Open
Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller states: "Last year there were more
martyrs in Nigeria– approximately 2,000 Christians killed in the northern part–than in any other country in the world. Nigeria is such a key country in the
spread of Christianity all over Africa. Please join me in prayer for the
Christians there, especially for those in the north."

Pray
that the unrest will settle down. Ask God for both wisdom and direction for the
Open Doors Nigerian team. Pray for the
Christians in the 12 states of northern
Nigeria governed by Sharia (strict Islamic law), that they will put their trust in God amidst new attacks.

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