Nigeria imposes curfew to stem religious violence

By June 21, 2012

Nigeria (CAM/MNN) — Two cities in Northern Nigeria remained
under curfew Wednesday after rioting and reprisal killings followed deadly
church bombings on Sunday.  

Kaduna and Damaturu were under lock down 24-hours-a-day,
while soldiers patrolled the nearly deserted streets.

The Sunday bombings struck three churches in Kaduna State,
killing at least 21, presumably all of them Christians. 

Boko Haram claimed the attacks, saying they're fighting for
an Islamic state under Sharia law. The extremist group does not recognize the
Nigerian government or the constitution. The group is also well-funded and organized. According to Christian Aid Mission, the
government is ignoring the threat.

The church bombings are a serious threat to the stability of
Nigeria due to the current religious divisions. The danger is that this week's
retaliatory attacks will continue, spiraling out of control.

Rae Burnett, Africa director for Christian Aid Mission, says the good news is that missionaries of the indigenous Nigerian ministries they
help have not been directly targeted by Boko Haram. However,
several supporters have been murdered, and random terrorist shootings have come
close, too. Burnett goes on to note that these
missionaries have not involved themselves at all in politics, only the Gospel,
and they have kept a low profile until now.

Burnett shares a dispatch she just received from a *ministry
who has been her friend since 1996.

have struck again. This time we had to evacuate our missionaries from Kandawa
fields as Muslim militants discovered the work and threatened them. Right now,
we need your prayers as Chris (the overseer of all ministry work in the
northern Islamic area) is still trapped in the fields with several
missionaries, some with infants.

Sunday, three churches were bombed in Kaduna and Zaria, killing several people.
This led to reprisals and killings all over the place. Yet the government
is doing nothing.

than 65 people are already confirmed dead. A 24 hour curfew has been declared,
and we do not know how to reach the converts in the war zone.

today, Boko Haram had not done so much damage to us in this part of the
country. We are appealing for funds to buy mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets,
and food for our converts that are about to move out.

is urgent.
We have dispatched three other staff, but there is no access to
the area. Fighting and fighting. Please we need your prayers for Nigeria. I am
writing this in the midnight asking for all our friends to pray and help. You
can also send support to them. Our staff for the first time are affected in
this kind of killing. Help and ask believers to pray and support. We need your
support and we need your prayers.

converts too need prayers. We do hope you will pray for Nigeria now.

need to relocate quickly. I am currently in Abuja (the capital city) and will
go to Kebbi state to rescue our staff as soon as possible, but no going in or
out of the area for now. We want to be ready immediately when they can escape
with their converts.

are so grateful for the property Christian Aid enabled us to buy, but we must
have resources to build our simple headquarters and a place to help these
victims of terrorism.

for your prayers for Nigeria and others around us.

indigenous Nigerian ministry has experienced tremendous open doors for the Gospel
in Islamic strongholds that have never before been evangelized. However, because of Boko Haram, they have to
move their headquarters from an Islamic state where they have been in peace for
more than 25 years, to a centralized and neutral place better suited to direct
the work.

Aid has provided the land, but $35,000 is needed to provide a simple
headquarters building where the leader and staff would also live.

so many years, the work is well-known and could be targeted at any time. Please
pray for these heroes of the faith as they continue to press forward with the Gospel
in this time of extraordinary danger.

*The ministry name is not mentioned for security.


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