Persecution Fridays: Nigeria

April 1, 2011 at 9:22 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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Nigeria: Churches: Bomb Targets

Two failed bomb attacks on churches in Jos, Nigeria, have magnified the fears of Christians in the region. On Sunday, March 20, a bomb exploded prematurely, killing three men who were carrying it toward two churches. The intended targets were worshipers at the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) and the nearby Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN)

The same day, a bomb planted at the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church on Jengre Road in Jos failed to detonate. The two men who placed the bomb escaped on a motorcycle. It is not known whether the two attempted bombings were related or committed by the same group.

In neighboring Bauchi state, more than 4,000 people were displaced in a series of night attacks by Muslim Fulani tribesmen that began March 10. In the Tafawa Balewa area, 463 homes, 11 shops and 13 churches were burned.

Attacks by the tribesmen have continued even after the deployment of security personnel. Locals attributed the attacks to a group of 2,000 militants from other northern Nigerian states who assembled in the area. The attackers reportedly wear army and police uniforms.

Anti-Christian violence has increased in northern Nigeria since January of this year, when 200 armed Fulani youths attacked churches and Christian homes. Sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria began in 2001 with a large-scale riot in the city of Kaduna.

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