Missionaries evacuate parts of Nigeria.

By March 2, 2006

Nigeria (MNN)–Four Christian Reformed World Missionaries, along with 15 Christian families fled Nigeria because recent death threats.

A faction of Muslim rioters in northern Nigeria posted leaflets warning Christians to either leave or be killed. While threats may be linked to the widely publicized Danish cartoon depictions of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, there has been a long history of tensions among Christians and Muslims in northern Nigeria.

Geographically, most of the residents in the north of the country are Muslim and in 12 states they have instituted Shari’ah law, which discriminates against non-Muslims. Most Christians in Nigeria live in the south.

In the meantime, Nigerian police arrested 454 suspects in connection with the recent sectarian crises in the country and promise a quick prosecution.

However, until things stabilize, Dave and Jan Dykgraaf, of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Larry and Rose Van Zee of Pella, Iowa, evacuated to a temporary safe haven in the central Nigerian city of Abuja. There’s no word yet what their future plans are.

Pray that their ministry can be resumed safely in the near future.

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