Nigeria explores sectarian nature of riots

By February 4, 2010

Nigeria (MNN) — Government officials in Nigeria are looking
at the riots in Jos differently now, the second deadly uprising in two
years. 

Compass Direct News sources indicated the violence last
month may have been sparked by Muslim youths disrupting a worship service at St. Michael's Catholic Church in the nearby city of Nasarawa Gwong.

Muslims then continued attacks in the area, burning the
buildings of the Christ Apostolic Church, Assemblies of God Church, three
branches of the Church of Christ in Nigeria and two buildings of the
Evangelical Church of West Africa.

By the time a semblance of order was restored three days
later, more than 300 were dead. The
government appointed a 15-member panel to find ways of ending recurring clashes
between Christians and Muslims.

According to a statement released by the government, the
team includes members of both religious groups, as well as politicians, former
army generals and women's rights activists. The country is divided between a predominantly-Muslim north and a
largely-Christian south.

Greg Musselman with Voice of the Martyrs Canada says it's a
step in the right direction. "At
least the government now is recognizing that this is more than just a political
side of it–this is really a problem with the more militant Islamists attacking
Christians." 

Pray that Christians will not retaliate but show
Christ-like love. Ask God to give strength to Christians in Jos to remain
steadfast in their faith. "I
anticipate what is going on now is pastors talking to their people saying, 'We
need to be careful. Continue to share the Gospel, but be wise in how you do
it.'"





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