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Boko Haram declares Christians “enemies”...

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Boko Haram declares Christians “enemies” and vows more church attacks

Country/Region: Africa, Nigeria

The Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state.

Boko Haram spokesman
Suicide_bombers_in_cars_4X3.jpg
Suicide bombers in cars are targeting Nigerian churches
Image source: Stefanos foundation

Militant Islamist group Boko Haram has said that it will continue targeting churches in Nigeria until it establishes an Islamic state, after committing two further attacks on Sunday.  

Gunmen opened fire on a congregation at worship and a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a church in two separate incidents.

The first happened in Biu, a town in the north-eastern state of Borno. Gunmen burst into the EYN (“Church of the Brethren in Nigeria”) church and sprayed the congregation with bullets.

Hamidu Wakawa, who was at the church, said:

Three gunmen came to the premises of the church and started firing at people outside the church before going into the main building to carry on their killings... Many people have been killed and wounded.

No final death toll has yet been released, but officials have confirmed that one woman was killed and at least three people were injured.

Later on the same day, a suicide bomber targeted an evangelical church in the central city of Jos, Plateau state. He reportedly disguised himself as a worshipper to get past security and drove up to Christ Chosen Church, getting as close to the building as he could before detonating the bomb.

An estimated 62 people were critically injured, and around ten people are feared to have been killed; six people died in violence that broke out following the blast.

The intensity of the explosion caused the church building to collapse.   

Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has been behind numerous attacks on churches in Nigeria, claimed responsibility for the two incidents on Sunday.

A spokesman said:

We launched these attacks to prove the Nigerian security wrong and to debunk their claim that we have been weakened by the military crackdown.

Barely a week goes by in Nigeria without another church attack. Last Sunday, at least 12 people were killed and more than 40 injured in a suicide car bombing that struck two churches in Bauchi state.

Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria and has made it very clear that Christians are not welcome. On New Year’s Day, the group issued a three-day ultimatum for Christians to leave the North, and since then attacks against them have been unrelenting.

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Daily prayer

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  • Pray for Barnabas Aid partners in South Sudan who have been supporting Christians forced from their homes by violence. Conflict between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar in December and January displaced around 860,000 people. Churches were burned down and a number of pastors killed, while many people lost their belongings and were left destitute. Give thanks that churches in and around the capital, Juba, were able to provide food and other essentials to many families with help from Barnabas. Pray that they may continue to be salt and light in their country at this unstable time (Matthew 5:13-16), and that it will soon be safe for displaced Christians to return home. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 23 hours ago

  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Give thanks for the Christ-like responses of Christian leaders in CAR to the crisis that threatens them and their churches. They have distanced themselves from the anti-balaka militias, saying that these should not be labelled as Christian and that they hold no mandate from the churches. The leaders have also condemned the violence in the country, whatever its origin, and have called on Christians to pursue forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Churches are hiding, defending and caring for thousands of Muslims endangered by the anti-balaka, and one of CAR’s most senior church leaders has invited the president of the country’s Islamic community to move into his church compound. Pray that this powerful witness to the grace and love of Christ will help to bring peace to the shattered country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

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