Jos, Nigeria tense in wake of deadly riots

By December 8, 2008

Nigeria (MNN) — There are fresh
tensions in Jos, Nigeria, after a call for a state of emergency. A deadly rampage last week targeted
Christians in the area, following elections that fell in their favor. Thousands
more are displaced.

Carl Moeller with Open Doors says
it's not over yet. "There are many, many flash points along that entire
border. We pray for overall reconciliation between these peoples. We pray that
Muslim extremists would not take out their frustration on the Christian
community there, and then we pray for Christians to have the peace and patience
of the Holy Spirit." 

The home of Isaac, an Open Doors
(OD) representative, was looted and burnt down on November 28, but neither he
nor his family were harmed. At the moment, they are taking refuge in a
safer area. OD is in the process of addressing the immediate needs of the
family and assisting them to relocate.

Moeller says their teams have
been galvanized into action so that the hope of Christ goes forth. "Open Doors has stepped up its work in
Nigeria because of the need for restoring the Christian church's presence in
those areas. [We want] the Christians to be encouraged, to let them know that
they've not been forgotten, to provide for their most basic needs–food,
clothing, shelter, spiritual needs, encouragement, training for pastors, and
materials for the rebuilding of their churches."

However, unrest in
the state in the past has triggered reprisal attacks between different ethnic
and religious groups in other parts of Nigeria.

Hundreds were killed in
ethnic-religious fighting in Jos in 2001. Hundreds more died in 2004 in clashes
in Yelwa, also in Plateau Sate, leading former President Olusegun Obasanjo to
declare an emergency.

The
violence in Jos has calmed down a bit, but the situation remains tense. Please
pray for Christians in Nigeria, as the situation is not yet resolved. The rest
of the Open Doors staff and their families are safe, although they are shaken by the violence
over the last couple of days. Keep praying for their safety as they act as the
hands and feet of Christ during the crisis.

 

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