Religious riots in Nigeria kill dozens.

By February 27, 2006

Nigeria (MNN)–Religious violence has wracked Nigeria over the last few weeks. Muslim attacks have been answered with deadly force from Christians over the last week.

As Muslims demonstrated against the Mohammed cartoons first published in Denmark, they turned their anger toward local Christians. The violence spread globally and eventually swept through the Nigerian Muslim community. Demonstrators began destroying shops and homes owned by Christians and burned at least thirty church buildings.

Riots February 18 in Maiduguri in the northern Nigerian state of Borno left as many as 58 dead, most of them Christians. Similar demonstrations held on February 18 in the city of Katsina left at least one dead and several injured.

Voice of the Martyrs’ Canada says church leaders are concerned over the reciprocal violence from among their younger members.

That concern came to fruition with the latest reports. Christian youths armed with machetes, stones and clubs attacked Muslims in the southeastern Nigerian city of Enugu, February 24.

The violence brings to the forefront a history of sectarian strife that has cost thousands of lives since 2000. At that time, mostly Muslim northern states began implementing Islamic Shariah law. Nigeria’s 130 million people are almost entirely split between the two faiths, with Christians a majority in the south.

Pray that the Christian young people will learn not to respond to violence with violence but with the attitude of Christ.

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