A suicide bomber attacked the Church of Christ in Jos, Nigeria during morning services, murdering two Christians. Thirty-eight were wounded and a father and child, along with the bomber, were killed. Although no group has yet claimed responsibility, a radical Islamist sect, Boko Haram, whose name means “Western Education is Sacrilege”, has been targeting churches. Reuters reports that after the attacks, two Christian youths beat two Muslims to death after setting up a roadblock and attacking them when they stopped.
Two days ago, Boston.com reported a horrifying story about a 79-year-old Christian choir singer, Shetu Haruna Malgwi, who was murdered after assailants slit her throat and put a note on her chest in Arabic, stating “We will get you soon”. A bible was put under her feet. Malgwi’s family believes she was killed as a message for her son, a pastor of the local church. The article continues to say that Boko Haram “is carrying out increasingly sophisticated and bloody attacks in its campaign to implement strict Shariah law and avenge Muslim killings…”
Last Sunday, the AP reports that five people were wounded from a bomb that exploded outside the Christ Embassy church in Suleja during worship services. In January, 2012, the BBC reported that “at least 17 people were killed in Mubi in Adamawa state as gunmen opened fire in a town hall where members of the Christian Igbo group were meeting.” Witnesses said that the gunmen came and yelled, “God is Great!”
The trend of Christians being targeted in Nigeria has not really been reported sufficiently by the mainstream media. Additionally, the story of the Koran Burning has had much more coverage than the plight of the Christians in Nigeria and elsewhere. Why?
The north is predominantly Muslim, while the south is mainly Christian. The attacks have been mainly focused in the north but have been moving to the south. A Boko Haram spokesperson stated that the motivation for the crime was “part of our response to the ultimatum we gave to southerners to leave the north.” The three day deadline for Christians to leave was corroborated by several news sources in early January.
There have been many pleas for government intervention by local leaders. However, the help has not arrived and people are dying and being hurt constantly. The radicals claimed a bomb attack on Christmas Eve that killed 80 people in Jos and on Christmas day, a bombing of a church murdered at least 44 Christians in Madalla. An article about the recent attack on the church by USA Today speculates that the attacks have less to do with religion and more to do with local politics and economics.
The American Thinker reports that in 2011, “the Muslim extremist group Boko Haram killed 510 Christians and destroyed more than 350 churches using guns, gasoline bombs, and even machetes, all the while shouting “Allahu akbar”. It is time for people worldwide to strongly denounce the violence against Christians in some Muslim-dominated areas.
The ongoing persecution of Christians in Nigeria has gained some attention, but never really reaches full headline status. President Obama has not had anything substantive to say regarding the terrorizing of Christians in Nigeria and elsewhere. The world should start paying attention and strongly denounce these acts of violence against innocents worldwide.