Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nigerian Muslim Militant Dead: Christians Fearful





According to The Guardian of the UK, Mohammed Yusuf, leader of Boko Haram (Western Education is Sinful) was shot to death by Nigerian security forces in the aftermath of sectarian violence that has claimed hundreds of lives in recent weeks. It should not be assumed that this means the end of anti christian violence. In addition to the social divisions that gave rise to Boko Haram, there are still those who subscribe to its philosophy of intolerance. Some of its members might want to avenge Mohammed Yusuf's death. Continued vigilance is advisable


The situation in Nigeria for Christians is getting very difficult. Nigeria is about half Muslim and half Christian. The religious divisions tend to follow geographical and tribal divisions. According to the web site "persecution.org", three Christian ministers have been killed and twenty churches burned to the ground by a Muslim group known as Boko Haram, which translates as "Western education is forbidden." Persecution.org reports as follows on the escalating violence in Nigeria.


"Washington -- International Christian Concern (ICC) has received additional details on attacks by Islamic extremists against Christians and churches in Maiduguri, Nigeria. ICC first reported this story on July 29 ("Islamic Extremists Kill Pastor, Raze Churches in Nigeria"). We have now learned that the Islamists killed 12 Christians, including three pastors, and razed twenty churches.

Sabo Yakubu, pastor of a Church of Christ congregation in Nigeria, Rev. Sylvester O. Akpan, pastor with National Evangelical Mission, and Rev. George Orji, pastor with Good News of Christ Church, were killed by members of an Islamic extremist group known as Boko Haram (which means "education is prohibited"). The group opposes Western education and fights to impose Sharia law throughout Nigeria, including areas that are majority Christian.

The Islamists also razed churches including: Deeper Life Bible Church, St Joseph's Catholic Church, St. Michael's Catholic Church, Church of the Brethren, Church of Christ in Nigeria, the National Evangelical Mission, Life Church, the Charismatic Revival Ministries Watchman (Lord's Chosen), Elijah Apostolic Church, the Good News of Christ Church, and the Celestial Church of Christ.


The violent attacks carried out by Boko Haram were originally directed against government buildings. The attacks on churches and Christian clergy is an escalation and deepening of the conflict in Nigeria.


The goal of Boko Haram is the imposition of Shaaria law not only in predominantly Muslim parts of Nigeria but in Christian areas as well.

ICC (International Christian Concern) has appealed to concerned people the world. It has provided an article with background and things you can do to help besieged Christians in Nigeria. The article has links to a petition that can be signed on line or on paper.

Twelve thousand Nigerians have died and thousands made homeless in sectarian violence in Nigeria since 1999. The latest increase in civil strife in Africa's largest country should concern us all.

There is no doubt that there is help from Islamic extremists abroad going to Boko Haram in Nigeria. Nigeria must not fall victim to American and Western apathy. Make your voices heard. Nigeria's leaders must know that the world is watching.

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