Muslims blaming prayer for leader’s death

By August 21, 2008

Nigeria (CDN) — Blaming the death of their leader on Christian prayers, an Islamist group has launched a hate campaign. It stems from an evangelistic event in 2004. According to Compass Direct News, the group is reportedly attacking Christians in the Kwara state capital with renewed vigor.

At least three Christians have died, and several others have been injured in attacks with machetes and other weapons since June, clergymen said.

They said the attacks began after Dr. Ali Olukade died from car crash injuries in May. He was head of a local group of Islamists called Tibliq, possibly patterned after the worldwide Tablighi Jamaat missionary movement.

According to the Rev. Cornelius Fawenu, secretary of the Kwara chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Dr.Olukade's extremist followers believe that his death was the result of prayers by Christians upset over Muslim threats which cut short a major event by German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke in 2004.

The Kwara chapter of CAN has received 10 reports of Christians attacked by the Muslim extremists in the past two months, Rev. Fawenu said, adding that he believes unreported assaults on Christians average about four daily. Among the dead is a former leader of an Evangelical Church of West Africa congregation known only as Pastor Habila.

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