Nigerian government takes action in Christian massacre

By March 12, 2010

Nigeria (MNN) — Nigeria's Plateau state license plates bear
the phrase "Home of Peace and Tourism." In the wake of Sunday's massacre, it seems to
be anything but.

Police in Jos, Nigeria have 351 people in custody, including
49 Fulani connected with the violence
that seemed to target Christians. The
area is tinderbox that sits between the country's predominantly-Muslim north
and largely-Christian south.

Greg Musselman with Voice of the Martyrs Canada says believers are still in shock, and may
not be all that reassured by the government's "swift action." Why? "The military was already on alert.
There had been rumors preceding this massacre on the weekend, and yet, it still
occurred." 

500 people died in the attack. These hundreds have been buried in a mass
grave. The reasons it sparked could be myriad.
Ethnic Fulani Muslims were behind it, but Musselman says they're still
trying to get to the bottom of the problem. "Is this actually Christian
persecution, or is this a land grab? Is this tribal? There are so many elements
here. Ultimately, many Christians have been killed. And those who survived continue to trust the
Lord in the midst of a very horrible situation that will, unfortunately,
continue." 

Compass Direct News reported that Christian leaders believe
the attacks were motivated by religious fervor. 
In a statement, these leaders noted that,  "Dogo Nahawa is a Christian community. Eyewitnesses
say the Hausa Fulani Muslim militants were chanting ‘Allah Akbar,' broke into houses,
cutting human beings, including children and women with their knives and
cutlasses."

Although the military was aware of the potential for violence, they did not
arrive at the scene until after the attackers
had already gone. It's an eerily familiar scene. January 17 saw similar mob violence in
Jos.  

The violence then not only cost 100 people their lives but
also saw the burning 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.

Church leaders are condemning the cycle and encouraging
believers toward reconciliation.
Musselman says, "It won't stop the evangelistic efforts, but the
big thing right now is for the Christians there to love their enemies."

Pray that Christians in Nigeria will demonstrate the
love of Christ, in spite of the opposition they face.  

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