Nigeria (MNN) — Police in Nigeria found another undetonated bomb
in Kano State, Nigeria Monday.
Suspected members of Nigerian Islamist
sect Boko Haram were blamed for this thwarted attack, coming on the heels of a
car bombing in Kaduna State that killed 38 on Easter Sunday.
Christian Aid Mission spokesman Bill Bray explains, "This suicide bomber wanted to actually
attack these churches, but he couldn't get his vehicle in, so he had to
explode his charge outside."
Bray says Sunday's attack was aimed at two churches, but security
did its job. "Many were killed, but
they were killed in the street, and [the bomber] was not able to actually crash into the
building and destroy the churches."
The apparent targeting of a Christian place of worship on a Holy
Day bears eerie resemblance to the string
of deadly assaults by Boko Haram on Christmas Day last year. Boko Haram has called for an Islamic state in
Nigeria and has claimed more than 1,000 lives since mid-2009, including more
than 300 this year alone.
Bray says, "The idea that God would raise His Son from the
dead is so offensive to these extremists that they use this occasion as a time
to disrupt Christian worship and to disrupt believers." However, the attacks have not been limited to
churches alone. It seems that the scope of the group widened to also include schools and police stations in Muslim areas. To date, the extremists have murdered far
more Muslims than Christians.
The location of an indigenous missionary ministry in Nigeria that
Christian Aid has supported since 1986 is well-known to all. In spite of its
location in an Islamic state, it has never been in danger of violence until the
past few months when aggressive terrorist attacks have become bolder. Of their partner team, Bray says, "They
are cautious, but they're very resilient. The terrorism is spurring our teams
on, and the indigenous missionaries are working harder than ever. They're more aggressive
with this new threat to focus on Christians, the need to relocate ministry
headquarters has become critical. Last
month, one ministry leader [from a school] revealed they've changed their office
operations because of Boko Haram militants. He sent this report (excerpted):
are going forward with the Lord's work in the midst of the terror of Islamic
extremism. The whole nation is terrified, but we will never go underground.
That would kill mission work in Nigeria, leaving the devil and his supporters
to celebrate our weakness. With 90% of our work now among Muslims and making a
tremendous impact, we will move forward with soul winning. But we must
not alone in that struggle. Bray notes, "There's
three indigenous mission organizations that are in the frontline states.
Continue to pray for the safety and their courage, and that they would continue
to be resilient".
Aid's came alongside the school to help them buy centrally-located land for their
eventual move. This spot accommodates their needs much better and allows them
room to continue to grow.
had no idea of the danger that was coming. We had no clue that the need to move
would be so pressing and even a matter of life or death. We do not want to see a delay in this fruitful
work that has been growing so fast.
resilience has been encouraging, says Bray. "Those who've suffered the loss of family
and gone through the terrorism are stronger than ever. It's a amazing
how the Holy Spirit seems to give them additional strength and courage and they
use the persecution as part of their testimony."
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