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Two Nigerian churches hit in Easter bomb...

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Two Nigerian churches hit in Easter bomb blast; 38 people killed

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Two Nigerian churches hit in Easter bomb blast; 38 people killed

Country/Region: Nigeria, Africa

At least 38 people were killed in a suicide bombing outside two churches during Easter services in Northern Nigeria.

Burnt_Building_Nigeria_4X3.jpg
The Church in Northern Nigeria is facing relentless attacks

Explosives were detonated in Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna state, on Sunday (8 April) at around 8.40am. The All Nations Christian Assembly Church and the ECWA Good News Church were damaged in the blast. Nearby hotels and homes had their windows blown out and roofs torn away. Most of the victims were motorcycle taxi drivers who were caught up in the blast.

The bomber appeared to have been targeting the churches but was stopped at a checkpoint as he attempted to drive his vehicle into the compound. A police officer said that the man turned back and drove to a nearby area, where he detonated the bomb. Another vehicle packed with explosives also detonated.

Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but it bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which has been carrying out violent acts against Christians and other targets in its campaign to create an Islamic state.

Churches have been particularly vulnerable during the key Christian celebrations of Christmas and Easter. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a coordinated series of bomb and gun attacks on churches and the security services in five states on Christmas Day 2011. The majority of the fatalities occurred at a church in Madalla, near the capital, Abuja, where around 35 worshippers were killed.

The group shortly afterwards issued a three-day ultimatum for Christians to leave the North and has since been carrying out attacks on churches and individual Christians. Last month, Boko Haram declared "war" on Christians in Nigeria, saying that they were planning coordinated attacks to "eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country".

Both the UK and the US had warned its citizens living in Nigeria that violence was likely over Easter.

Kaduna, which is on the dividing line between Nigeria's predominantly Muslim North and mainly Christian South, was one of the worst affected states when violence broke out last April following the re-election of Christian President Goodluck Jonathan. It has since remained under tight armed guard.

The Nigerian authorities have been struggling to get to grips with Boko Haram and have appeared unable to stop their attacks.

In his Easter message, President Jonathan said that "as people of faith, we must never succumb to hopelessness and despair".

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

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    • Almighty God, we call to You for relief for Christians in the Gwoza area of Borno state in Northern Nigeria, as they face repeated violent attacks by Boko Haram militants. We pray for comfort for the relatives and friends of the hundreds who have been killed, and for the thousands who have been forced from their homes and seen them torched. We ask for Your special protection on Christians as they gather to worship You. We pray for the Nigerian authorities to re-establish control of the area, so that the displaced Christians may be safe from further attacks and free to rebuild their shattered communities. We pray too for their persecutors to come to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 8 hours ago

    • “This is a war against Christians and democracy and their constitution. Allah says we should finish them when we get them.” The leader of the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram was speaking in a video that reasserted their agenda and addressed “the people of the world”, saying, “Either you are with us Mujahedeen or you are with the Christians.” The translation of the video was released as scores of people were killed in suicide bombings in May, including at least 118 in a double attack in Jos, Plateau state on 20 May. Pray that Boko Haram’s murderous campaign to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria will not succeed. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Bible school students in Vietnam who were subjected to a terrifying night-time raid by police and hired thugs. On 9 June, officers swooped from adjacent rooftops into the church compound that houses the school, while vehicle-loads of people were brought to the site to vandalise the building with bricks, stones and sticks. The students were beaten, punched and kicked before being taken away for interrogation; 20 were left in need of medical attention but were prevented from leaving to find it. Thugs continued to attack the compound over the next ten nights. Pray for the students as they recover from this brutal assault and that they will stand firm in their faith in the face of intimidation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Aug 2014 00:00

    • In an earlier incident in Saisomboon village, three teenage Christian girls were disqualified from taking their final school examinations because of their faith. The village chief said that in following Christianity, Noi (15), Net (15) and Nut (14) had forfeited their right to education. Five families from the village have now converted to Christianity. A spokesman for Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom expressed the view that the authorities were trying to find every possible way “to stop the spread of Christian religious freedom in the area”. Pray that the girls will be allowed to complete their education and that opposition to the Christians in the village will cease. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Five Christians have been charged with murder in Laos after a sick woman sought prayer at her local church, converted to Christianity and later died. Mrs Chan, from Saisomboon village in Savannakhet province, had been ill for two years when she approached the church. Her health improved for a short time, and she and her eight grown-up children came to faith in Christ. The sons and daughters wanted a Christian burial ceremony, but the authorities forbade this unless they renounced their faith, which they refused to do. When Christians in the area protested, five were arrested and subsequently charged with Mrs Chan’s murder. Pray that the God of justice will have compassion on His people (Isaiah 30:18) and ensure their acquittal from this false accusation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Aug 2014 00:00

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