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Four days of violence in Plateau State, ...

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Four days of violence in Plateau State, Nigeria

Country/Region: Nigeria, Africa

Around 20 people were killed, two churches destroyed and homes and businesses torched in the latest outbreak of sectarian violence in Nigeria's troubled Plateau State.

Jos_Attacks2_4X3.jpg
The site of anti-Christian violence
in a Nigerian village in early 2010

Attacks by gunmen on four Christian villages near Jos last Thursday night left as many as 13 people dead. This was followed by three days of violence starting from the University of Jos on Friday in which at least nine people lost their lives.

A Muslim was killed in clashes between Christian students and a procession of Muslims returning from a burial, triggering a series of retaliatory attacks.

Two students, a male and a female, were stabbed by Muslim youths; a soldier then opened fire on students - injuring seven - who were protesting against the assaults on their fellow classmates.

The unrest spread over the weekend into Muslim and Christian communities surrounding the campus. A six-year-old child in the predominantly Christian community of Farin Gada was shot in the stomach, reportedly by a soldier, and later died, while seven youths from the same place and 14 university students were admitted to hospital with gunshot wounds.

Homes and businesses were set ablaze on Saturday morning, and later that day Muslim rioters tore down one church and torched another.

A local partner of an international aid and advocacy organisation confirmed that some civilians had been killed by soldiers and said that "the military have been so compromised that Muslims want only Muslim soldiers in their areas and Christians are calling for only Christian soldiers."

The violence follows anti-Christian attacks in Jos on Christmas Eve. Seven co-ordinated blasts killed 32 people and injured 74 more, following threats to disrupt festive celebrations in the area.

It comes ahead of the Nigerian elections in April, when Christian President Goodluck Jonathan will stand for re-election despite calls from some quarters for a Muslim to take over the post.

Plateau State is in Nigeria's Middle Belt, where the strongly Muslim North meets the predominantly Christian South. It was the scene of several horrific massacres of Christians in January and March, 2010.

Tensions are rising once again.

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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    • “The cathedral in Damaturu now has only about 40 members instead of 450 members. The church in Potiskum now has only about 15 members instead of 500 members… the southern part of [Yobe state] is still very dangerous and most of the churches here have closed down.” A senior church leader in Nigeria wrote to Barnabas Aid in August about the impact on the Church of Boko Haram’s violence. Nevertheless Christians were still holding worship services every Sunday, discipling the young people and even commissioning pastors. Praise God for such perseverance, and pray that a Christian presence and witness may remain in north-east Nigeria. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 18 hours ago

    • Heavenly Father, we pray to You for our Christian brothers and sisters in north-eastern Nigeria, who are so vulnerable in the face of attacks by Boko Haram militants. We remember especially those who used to live in Madagali, in Adamawa state, until their town was seized by Boko Haram two months ago. We think of those who were betrayed into the hands of Boko Haram by their neighbours pointing out Christian homes or places where Christians had hidden. We bring before You those who saw their menfolk beheaded, and women forcibly converted to Islam. We cry out to You to intervene and bring an end to the murderous attacks by Boko Haram. We pray for all the thousands of Nigerian Christians who have suffered in similar attacks that they will not lose hope or faith in You, but will know Your peace which passes understanding. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Pray for a pastor in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania whose home was attacked on 17 May; two of his children were injured. When he went to report the incident to the police, he was falsely accused of raping a young woman who had left Islam to follow Christ. The pastor had taken her into his home, along with four other converts, after she was thrown out by her family; it was they who made the accusation against him. He has faced much opposition because of his fruitful outreach to Muslims, and several failed attempts have been made to frame him with false accusations. Pray that the sovereign Lord will help him and that he will not be disgraced (Isaiah 50:7-9). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Oct 2014 00:00

    • A church on Mafia Island, part of the Zanzibar archipelago, was attacked on 9 May by around 80 young Muslim men armed with arrows and knives. The church members, who are mainly converts from Islam, had gathered for their weekly overnight prayer session when the attackers appeared, shouting “death to ritad’i” (those who leave Islam). They set fi re to the church, leaving the interior in ruins, and then went in search of the pastor, but he was not at home. The incident followed a bomb blast at another church in Mwanza in mainland Tanzania on 5 May, in which a worker at the church rest house was critically injured. Pray that the authorities will effectively address the increasing incidence of attacks against churches. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Cry out to the Lord for the many Christian victims of kidnapping by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Remember especially the more than two hundred teenage girls who were taken from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno state, on the night of 14 April. A video released in May showed eight of the girls speaking about their ordeal; they plead for their release, and one says, “I never expected to suffer like this in my life.” It is believed that they have been divided into at least four groups and that most of them are being held in camps outside Nigeria. They are hungry, while some are unwell and need medical attention. Pray for their safe release and for that of other kidnapped Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

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