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Published on 08 March, 2012

War on Christians in Nigeria?

Nigeria (MNN) — A Nigerian spokesman for the Islamic militant group Boko Haram told this week that they are planning a "war" on Christians in the next few weeks.

According to the spokesman, speaking via telephone from northern Nigeria, the group "will launch a number of attacks, coordinated and part of the plan to eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country." Some wonder if it will come with Easter.

Boko Haram has taken responsibility for a number of bomb attacks on Christian churches across the country since a Christmas Day bombing left dozens of people killed. The spokesman said, "The government cannot be prepared for what is to come. We will create so much effort to end the Christian presence in our push to have a proper Islamic state, that the Christians won't be able to stay."

The militant group 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. Though the terrorists have attacked many churches, the primary targets have been 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 Mission 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. With this new threat to focus on Christians, the need to relocate ministry headquarters has become critical.

One ministry leader with Christian Aid Mission reports, "Missionaries 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 strategize wisely."

Just yesterday, a bomb blasted in Demsa, very close to the ministry leader's headquarters. "We do not even operate our office the usual way anymore due to current problem of Boko Haram militants," says the leader. "Two local people were killed in their offices a few days ago. On February 23, terrorists went into a neighborhood shop and randomly shot the owner and his customers. The murderers just walked away. No one does anything. They have nothing to fear."

Pray that God will protect these frontline Christians. Pray also that their boldness will be a witness for Christ.

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About Nigeria

  • Primary Language: English
  • Primary Religion: Christianity
  • Evangelical: 30.8%
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