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Islamic leaders in Nigeria urge Boko Har...

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Islamic leaders in Nigeria urge Boko Haram to end violence against Christians

Country/Region: Africa, Nigeria, Middle East and North Africa

Islamic scholars and leaders in Nigeria have urged militant group Boko Haram to end its violent campaign against Christians and other targets in the country.

Boko_Haram_militants_4X3.jpg
Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria

Speaking at a lecture as part of the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations’ Ramadan activities, they called for a ceasefire from the group.

One of the speakers, Sayid Bagher Seyed Jaradi, the Acting Cultural Consulate of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, said this was “urgently expected for the sake of humanity, credibility of the Islamic religion and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians”.

He said that the violence being perpetrated by Boko Haram “not only pitched the non-Muslims against the Muslims, but questioned the sanctity of the religion”.

He added:

They [Boko Haram] should realise that the merciless killings of innocent people, including non-Muslims, across Nigeria, is not known and acceptable by any law or religious tenets across the globe. They should be enlightened or reminded that the basic preaching of Islamic religion is peace, which can never be achieved when we are hostile to our brothers and sisters, including the non-Muslims.

Speaking out against Boko Haram is a brave move, as other Muslim leaders who have opposed their activities have been targeted by the group.

Boko Haram has this year stepped up its violent campaign to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria, attacking Christians in particular but also others, including the security forces.

The group recently said, “We will not end our attacks until we have an Islamic state.” They had previously declared “war” against Christians, saying in March that they were planning coordinated attacks to “eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country”.

Many Sundays have seen churches in the North and Middle Belt bombed during services, and scores of Christians have been killed.

In Boko Haram’s latest assault, more than 50 Christians were burned alive when militants bombed a pastor’s house where they had sought refuge as the group raided twelve villages in Plateau State.

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  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 20 hours ago

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi’s final appeal hearing is scheduled to take place tomorrow (14 April) having been deferred twice. She was sentenced to death for blasphemy in November 2010 having been falsely accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with Muslim co-workers. Aasia has been languishing in jail since the accusation was made in June 2009. Pray that her appeal will finally go ahead and that the judges will have the courage to acquit and release Aasia; there are concerns that they may give in to pressure from hardline Islamists who have been calling for her execution. Pray that Aasia, her husband and children will know the Lord’s peace as they await the verdict. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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