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Egypt: Women and children targeted in bomb blast that kills 25 at Coptic Cathedral in Cairo

Relatives of the victims were held back from the scene by police officers following the blast

Relatives of the victims were held back from the scene by police officers following the blast

At least 25 were killed and 49 wounded when a bomb targeted worshiper’s during Sunday service (10am) at St Peter’s Church in Cairo. Six children were among the dead. The bomb exploded inside the church and was left in an area to specifically target women and children. State television reported an explosive device had been thrown into the building, but witnesses said the bomb had been planted in the church.  (more…)

INDONESIA: Children Injured During Church Attack

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Voice of the Persecuted contacts in Indonesia are sending in reports that 4 children were wounded after a suspected terrorist threw molotov cocktails at the Oikumene Church in the city of Samarinda around 10am following the Sunday service. The injured children were immediately rushed to a hospital for treatment. Samarinda is the capital of the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.

Witnesses said a man passing on a motorbike threw a bag containing molotov cocktails that caused the explosion. The bombing is also reported to have caused damage to motorbikes in the parking lot.

Police have arrested the man, named Joh, alias  Jo Juhanda Aceng Kurnia bin Muhammad, 32, who threw who explosives. He was also wearing a t-shirt with the word ‘jihad’ on it.  The man had been staying at a mosque in the village Sengkotek, near Church Oikumene.

In 2012, the suspect had been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for terrorist bombings of the Research Center for Science and Technology in Tangerang in 2011. He was released in 2014. Indonesian news sources report Juhana had joined the group Jemaah Ansyarut Tauhid (JAT) established by Abubakar Ba’asyir—convicted of terrorism cases that have been pledged to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Their is much concern about the rapid rise of radicalism with a large number of Islamic State sympathizers in Indonesia—the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.

In August, an 18-year-old attacked a church in Medan and stabbed a Catholic priest after the bomb he was carrying failed to detonate.

Indonesian authorities started a multi-agency deradicalisation effort to reach the young and prevent early indoctrination of extremism, particularly from members of domestic terror groups loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

President Joko Widodo said of the Church Oikumene attack, “I have ordered the police chief to take firm action and thoroughly investigate the perpetrator” .

Please pray for Christians in Indonesia. They are asking the Lord to reveal His glory to them and their attackers.

Taliban Faction Threatens More Attacks Against Christians in Pakistan – What you can do

Follow the link below the video to help to a be a part of the solution.

 

First, PRAY for our Pakistani brothers and sisters.

Then contact your Senators and representatives and ask them to act immediately. Other than humanitarian aid, no more U.S. funding until Pakistan greatly improves and shows lasting efforts to control violence and stop human rights abuses against Christians and other minorities, particularly seen with the blasphemy laws. If we unite as the Body, we can do more to protect them.

Contact Your Elected Officials Today!

To our Pakistani family in Christ: You are not forgotten.
HELP PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS

Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
You may also send your gift to:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

 

Nigerian Christians Express Concern as Gov. Warns of New Boko Haram Threat

Boko-Haram

(Voice of the Persecuted) Christians in North Nigeria shared with Voice of the Persecuted that the military has warned of a new tactic by Boko Haram to perpetrate deadly attacks on the public. The news comes as added stress for those suffering beyond measure in the North and they’re asking for prayer.

The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Defence Headquarters (DHQ, Brig-Gen. Rabe Abubakar stated the Boko Haram is determined to continue attacks using bombs in crowded areas. He advised the public to be on the alert and not to hesitate in reporting any suspicious persons.

The extremists have been able to carry out attacks, though the government recently insisted Boko Haram has been effectively defeated.

Abubakar’s statement:

TERRORISTS NOW HIDE IEDS AMONG VEGETABLES

“In continuation with the sensitization of our citizens on the devilish strategy of the terrorists, the Nigerian Military authorities have discovered that the Boko Haram terrorists are determined to continue letting off bombs and have resorted to masquerading as fruits and vegetable vendors wheeling Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) as groceries into crowded areas.

The terrorists now hide IEDs under vegetable wares in carts and wheelbarrows and move to crowded places where they detonate them for maximum casualties. The recent terrorists attack in the North East is a case in point.

Having been effectively dislodged and decimated the BH terror group has begun some systematic isolated attacks mainly on soft targets in their desperation to remain relevant.

The Defence Headquarters hereby advises the general public to constantly be alert to this latest terrorist tactics and to report promptly any suspicious persons or objects to the nearest security agency.

While commending the general public and the media for their continuous support so far, all citizens are once again reminded that security is everybody’s concern therefore, they should join hands with the security agencies to eliminate the remnant of the terrorists.”

Imagine living day to day never knowing where or when an attack will happen. If the person walking or sitting next to you is a suicide bomber and about to complete their final mission. It’s not a question of if, but when. Too many still suffer extreme grief and trauma from near-death experiences as Boko Haram unleashed terror on their communities. After 6 long years of the insurgency, many wonder if their towns and villages will ever be safe. They now fear they’ll be forced to return to areas which will face repeat attacks after resettlement. Will they again be forced to hide in the bush, or trapped in the mountains without food or water? Will they and their remaining family members be spared in another murderous rampage of the Boko Haram? What risks will the Nigerian government and international communities expect them to accept? What would we in the West demand if it were happening to us, in our own countries? They want as we would, protection and survival without any risks.

Today, the U.N. warned the Nigerian government of returning the IDP’s (internally displaced people) to their villages. In the country to assess measures in place for the rehabilitation and re-integration of returnee Boko Haram victims, a delegation of the United Nations (UN) has warned that the nation risks future crisis if it fails to properly resettle those displaced by activities of the terrorist group.

We’ve heard chilling stories as these brothers and sisters narrated the past six years of incredible brutality, inhuman attacks of pure evil. Churches, businesses and homes looted and destroyed, entire villages burned to the ground. Horrifying accounts of captivity while in the hands of the murderous Boko Haram. Many slaughtered like animals for refusing to convert to Islam. Children taken to Sambisa Forest to train as fighters while militants plant hatred in their hearts. Profound grief for loved ones lost in attacks, or from infection and the severity of their wounds. Stories of dangerous journeys on the run and their intense struggles to keep alive. The unbearable sorrow of a parent describing the death of a child who had succumbed to starvation and disease. So many widows, so many orphans, it’s impossible to hold back the tears and not cry with them. As their stories, all at once, come flooding back to my mind, it’s impossible to write or express the atrocious savagery and enormous extent of suffering endured. But in the midst of great trials, their joy in the Lord is nothing short of remarkable. Their steadfast faith in the face of death, a great witness and encouragement. Through all the pain inflicted on them by the Boko Haram, they refuse to give in to hate. They remain determined to one day go home, rebuild their villages and again live happily.

It’s hard for us to understand why Nigeria is so often ignored. If the mutilation and slaughter, capture and rape of young girls and married women, little girls forced to become slave wives and suicide bombers, the suffering of internal refugees from years of neglect were documented in film; would it be enough for the world to even grasp the reality of the crisis and senseless evil brought against them? Would they be a voice, or remain silent? Would they be stirred to action and bring aid, or turn up the volume to drown out their cries? I wonder…

The desire to serve at their place, to love, pray and worship with them intensifies with each new attack. My heart overflows for my Christian family in Nigeria and the need to go and wash their feet calls out louder and louder.

Displaced people (internal refugees say that although their living conditions were nearly intolerable they had heard too many stories of attacks on the few early returnees to feel safe going home.

“We are afraid we will go and the army will leave us, and Boko Haram will come back.”

“People there are still voluntarily joining the insurgents.”

“The dense forest is near our village. So long as they are there, we can’t return.”

Some have seen Boko Haram militants moving large quantities of supplies to mountain hideouts.

Students in the Northeast, particularly girls, are afraid to go back to school fearing they will be attacked by the Boko Haram who believe Western education is a sin. In areas where thousands have been displaced by the insurgency, the majority of schools have remained closed for the past two years.

In regard to the latest news, a Christian pastor in the heart of the crisis told VOP,  “Never relent in your prayers for us.”

L. Kanalos, VOP Advocate

Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) is aiding an IDP camp caring for Christians who have faced incredible persecution. Nearly every person has lost loved ones at the hands of Boko Haram. The road ahead is long, both physically and emotionally. A large number, including the children in the camp, have suffered great emotional trauma and need counseling to overcome. Most in the camp come from villages which were completely destroyed and still considered at risk. They will not be leaving the camp anytime soon and their needs continue to rise. The insurgency by Boko Haram extremists in north-east Nigeria, the epicentre of the crisis, has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and many believe it’s far from over. Based on the latest mission assessment report, it has been logically determined many areas, particularly the villages of Gwoza, remain too dangerous for return. We cannot be silent and will continue to be their voice. We will stand by them and remember them constantly in our prayers.

orphan-306x4601Much help is needed to continue covering basic needs for these persecuted families, orphans and widows in the camp, approx. 400 people. Your gifts make it possible to get food, clothing, medical needs/care and fresh water to the suffering. These brothers and sisters need our compassion. They are thankful for any help, so encouraged they’re not forgotten. Can you share with these dear ones, today?

Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
You may also send your gift to:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

 Article may be reprinted with link/credit to VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED.

 

 

Remembering the Victims of the All Saints Church Bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan

On 22 September 2013, a twin suicide bomb attack took place at All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, in which 127 people were killed and over 250 injured. It was the deadliest attack on the Christian minority in the history of Pakistan.

Christmas in Nigeria: Celebrating At Gun Point

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By Obed Minchakpu

The atmosphere was bustling with concomitant voices as each person in the crowded street market bargained for a price reduction on item(s)/they were buying. Time was running out and it is just a matter of days that the big event would be celebrated. Yes, Christmas, a period everyone looked forward to, as it is time for reunion of families, friends, communities, and a time to thank God for his faithfulness.

This market is named terminus market. Its name is derived from the fact that the spot is right in the heart of the city where travelers in and out of the city converged. The residents of the city also converge here on daily basis either to sell or buy. There used to be a main market close by, but this was destroyed about fourteen years ago when a religious crisis engulfed the city. And so, traders have now been forced to convert the adjoining streets to an emergency market.

And just as the last minute rush for shopping by excited residents of this city was on, a high pitched voice cried out: “Bomb! Bomb!!! Bomb!!! Suddenly, a loud explosion sounded. Body parts were thrown all over. There were shrieked cries of pains and anguish. Debris flew in different directions, just as activities in the market came to a standstill.

Minutes later, sirens wailed as soldiers and emergency rescue workers rushed to the scene of the explosion. Corpses littered all over. So also, wares that were on display were scattered. Gun shots rented the air as soldiers fired shots into the air to restore law and order and to create the enabling environment for rescue workers to evacuate the dead and the injured.

An hour later, death counts by rescue workers at the scene of the bomb attack showed thirty-five dead, and fourty-five injured. Days after the incident many families are still searching for missing relations. Six months earlier, more than two hundred persons had died less than a hundred meters from this present spot, when terrorists bombed traders and shoppers.

Pandemonium and confusion has engulfed the city and tension is in the air. Again, terrorists have stroked at the heart of the people. The excitement of celebrating Christmas with joy has now been turned into mourning. People are moving around wearing gloomy faces. Social activities have now ceased as there is palpable fear of more attacks.

This is not the first time that the city of Jos in central Nigeria is celebrating Christmas at gun point. In the past three years, Churches have been bombed even on Christmas days. In one of the years, bomb attacks were carried out in different parts of the city on Christmas Eve. Terrorists in Nigeria now derive pleasure in carrying out bombings during the Christmas period, just to ensure that residents of the city do not partake in this great event in human history.

praying-handsHowever, in spite of the deadly attacks, residents of Jos city have not given up on the purpose and meaning of life. To them, life is not just about celebrating, but in what one is able to do to better his life and that of others. It is for this reason that you find instead of churches being empty, they are full to the brim with Worshipers. Christians fill their churches almost on daily basis praising God for his faithfulness in spite of the incessant attacks by terrorists.

Life in Jos can never be the same again. Churches now appear to be slaughter slaps, as going to the church means signing one’s death warrant. There is no doubt that in Jos, terrorists can come at any time. For Christian Worshipers to hold successfully Sunday worship services, they must protect themselves. Streets that pass by churches have to be closed. Some members of various congregations in the city have to abandon worship services to volunteer to watch over others. While their fellow Christians are in the auditoriums praising God, these watchmen have to risk their lives standing outside in the cold and watching the streets for would-be terrorists.

Inside the churches, preachers have the same and only one message, God has incarnated and dwelt among men on earth. Jesus incarnated in order that humanity would be reconciled to God. That is the essence of Christmas, and that is the mission of Jesus.

One of the passages from the Bible that has been read severally in most churches these past few days in the city of Jos is that from the book of Isaiah.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 KJV).

For the Christian victims of attacks by terrorists not only in the city of Jos, but also in other parts of Northern Nigeria, Jesus Christ, as God, has the power and authority over all of humanity. He incarnated and dwelt with men on earth so we can have a comforter who would stand by us in our travails and trials. Christians believe that the mission of Jesus on earth is to prepare all who believe in him for God’s heavenly kingdom. And more importantly too, is to establish his peace among his people.

These attacks by terrorists instead of dampening the spirit of Christians has brought hope into their lives. Hope of an everlasting peace because of God’s presence with them. This is the spirit of Emmanuel, God with us. The essence of Christmas. So, even when Christians are celebrating Christmas in Nigeria at gun point, the presence of God among his people had ministered peace and healing in the midst of their trials.

One other passage that has received much attention in churches in Nigeria during this Christmas season, is a passage from the book of Matthew. This Bible passage says:

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1 – 2:2 KJV).

Now, Christians believe that Christmas is a period to worship God. That is the reason churches in the city of Jos and elsewhere in Nigeria, have had to hold Carol services in spite of the state of insecurity. These Carol services have attracted unprecedented attendances. Songs of praise and worship have been rendered by various fellowship groups – Women, Youth, Choristers, and Men fellowships. Evangelism outreaches have been organized and many have come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

A very important lesson learned from messages preached from the above passage in various churches is that the wise men from the east went out in search of Jesus in order to worship him, even when they were rich men. Their status as rich men is seen from the gifts they brought to Jesus. What this means is that, the Gospel is also for the rich.

But is that the case in our country? Have the wealthy, those in authority, and those in the corridors of power realized that Jesus came for them too? Do they know that it is incumbent on them to live lives pleasing to God? Do they realize that they need to put all they have in the service of God? Are they prepared to humble themselves and submit to the authority of God, instead being power drunk? These are pertinent questions the Christmas message is posing to Nigerian leaders.

Further more, the message of Christmas as preached this past week in churches in Jos, and in other parts of Nigeria, point also to the fact that the mission of Jesus is not only targeted at the rich, but also, on the poor, the less privilege, the fatherless, and the bereaved. One of the passages that was preached from the pulpit to lay emphasis on this fact, is that from the book of Luke.

angels bring good news“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2: 8- 2:14 KJV).

The Shepherds received the good news about the birth of Jesus as the messiah. They praised God for the privilege of being partakers and heirs of his eternal kingdom. One thing stands out here, the shepherds are from the lower pedestal or strata of the society. They live in the fields and are nomadic. They move from place to place, and this is because of their cattle, and as a result, they do not have decent living conditions. They represent the poor of our society. Jesus too, came for the poor and the lowly.

In Nigeria, there are also shepherds, and church leaders and mission agencies have been working hard to present this very important message about Jesus Christ to them. This group of people who are shepherds in Nigeria are the Fulani Herdsmen. The good news is that, many Fulani men and women have come to Jesus Christ, and thousands of them in Nigeria areChristians. There are even some of them who have made decisions to go into full time Christian ministry and have been ordained pastors.

However, there are millions of other Fulani Herdsmen who are still gripped by evil. That is the reason some of them have been drafted into terror activities by Islamists and Muslim fanatics. These Fulani Herdsmen are involved in the killings going on in some states in northern Nigeria. They invade villages and attack defenseless communities. Even though this is a sad development, Jesus Christ loves the Fulani too. Christ came because of them, and this is the more reason all Christians should pray for them to know the truth about Jesus Christ. It is our responsibility to ensure that we play our part by sharing the Gospel with them, and leave the conviction and conversion to the Holy Spirit.

On the whole, the mission of Jesus on earth is to reconcile the whole of mankind to God. The fall of man in the garden had separated man from God. The birth of Jesus Christ was divine intervention in an effort to bring humanity back into fellowship with God.

So, as we celebrate this Christmas, even at gun point, we must not forget that beyond the celebration, we are tasked to share this good news with all we come across with, even to those who point their guns on our heads.

Have a blessed Christmas celebration!

Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate their suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you have greatly blessed others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support.

Voice of the Persecuted

 

 

Nigeria: Battered By Islamic Terror Group – Kill 52, Set 300 Houses Ablaze

Boko-Haram

Maiduguri, Nigeria—The upsurge of deadly attacks by Islamists continues in Nigeria. Latest reports reveal over the past couple of weeks, Boko Haram has stepped up it’s terror operations. Two weeks ago President GoodLuck Jonathon replaced the entire head of his military, without much surfacing as an explanation other than he was stepping up efforts against the Islamic Insurgency. Nigeria is equally divided among Muslims and Christians. The Boko Haram is attempting a take over to establish a fully Sharia (Islamic Law) governed State.

In separate attacks, suspected Islamic militants used explosives and gunfire to attack a market and Christian village during a church service in Nigeria’s northeast, killing and injuring people, demolished shops and hundreds of homes.

One report claims the attacks in Borno and Adamawa states resulted in one of the highest death tolls in recent attacks by militants defying an 8-month old military state of emergency in three states in northern Nigeria, designed to end the Islamic uprising there.

On Sunday as gunmen numbering over 50 invaded Kawuri District of Konduga Local Government Area of the state set ablaze over 300 houses and shops after killing 52 people including a soldier, and wounding several others including policemen and civilians, reports Vanguard a Nigerian news outlet.

The Boston Herald reported that attackers set off several explosions in Kawuri village in Borno state after launching their assault near the weekly market as vendors were packing up on Sunday night, the security official said.

He said 52 people died and the entire village was burned down, including 300 homes.  He also said two improvised explosive devices that were left behind went off Monday morning, narrowly missing security personnel who were collecting bodies in Kawuri. The official blamed suspected Boko Haram militants for the attack.

A police official who evacuated wounded victims confirmed at least 52 people were killed and 16 wounded. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not permitted to speak to reporters.

Ari Kolomi, who fled from his village, which is 70 kilometers (45 miles) outside Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, said, “No house was left standing” by the more than 50 extremists who attacked, armed with explosives and guns. Kolomi was searching for relatives in the village to make sure they had survived the attack.

State Police Commissioner Lawan Tanko confirmed the attack but said he was awaiting details on the casualties.

Local Chairman Maina Ularamu said officials recovered 45 bodies including those of two police officers.  He urged calm, saying: “I believe security operatives are on top of the situation.”

Also on Sunday, suspected militants in Adamawa state, south of Borno, stormed a Roman Catholic church during a Sunday morning service in Wada Chakawa village. They fired guns into the church, set off explosives and took people hostage during a five-hour siege, residents said. The Rev. Raymond Danbouye, a spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Yola, said dozens of people were killed.

Villager Moses Apogu said, “They used explosives during the attack on worshippers, and many people lost their lives.” Another resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said some of the people taken away were later killed.

In the adjacent Adamawa State, several people, including two policemen were also feared dead as gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members attacked the church in Chakawa village of Madagali Local Government Area.

The attack in Borno carried out at about 5pm on a market, which many traders and residents sustaining injuries. Some of the injured are being treatment at Konduga General Hospital and the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

Kawuri District is one of the towns in Konduga, about 60 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital.

This is the second attack on the town in the last few months. In October some Boko Haram suspects clashed with vigilante youths popularly known as civilian JTF, which led to the killing of 10 people including three youths, while 18 were injured and over 48 shops and many houses burnt in the attack.

The Governor, Kashim Shettima was due to visit the town yesterday morning suspended his trip following intelligence reports that the place was not safe. The terrorists who attacked the town had planted explosive devices, targeting rescue workers and security operatives deployed to maintain law and order.

nigeria-bomb attack

Vanguard gathered that the latest attack on Kawuri town took place on Sunday were gunmen suspected to be terrorists armed with AK47 rifles, IEDs and petrol bombs. They entered the community and wreaked havoc before fleeing into the Sambisa forest.

A survivor, Mallam Mustapha Modu said he counted about 47 dead while several others sustained gunshots and various burns.

In the last week, 37 communities of Kwaljiri, Kaya, Ngawo Fate, Limanti, Njaba, Yahuri, Mude, Wala and Alau among others in Damboa, Konduga and Gwoza council areas have been sacked by terrorists. The displaced residents have taken refuge in neighboring villages of Cameroon Republic and other towns including Maiduguri metropolis.

The Police Commissioner of Borno State, told Vanguard,

“I received an intelligence information that Kawuri town was attacked by Boko Haram sect members suspected to be on revenge mission on market day (Sunday), where many civilians were killed while several others were left with serious burn wounds before they set the whole place on fire. We have deployed our men to the area and very soon I will give you with details.”

Tanko said, some of his men were wounded in the attack but he did not lose any of them.

“The gunmen arrived the town using Sports Utility Vehicles, SUVs, and pretended to be villagers coming to the market. “Unknown to the people the gunmen had planted IEDs at strategic areas in the town before carrying out attacks on residents,” said survivor, Malam Isa Ibrahim. He also said gunmen set several houses and shops ablaze before fleeing. Another survivor said, “We counted about 15 bodies of victims at the end of the attack. ‘and also assisted about 20 injured persons to the hospital.”

In Adamawa State, where Christians were attacked on Sunday, some of the worshippers who escaped said, “They used explosives during the attack on worshippers and many people lost their lives”. One worshipper said, “I cannot actually say how many people were killed but about 16 people were evacuated from the church.” Another resident claimed that some houses were also attacked by the gunmen who took some men hostage, while two policemen- an inspector and a sergeant who were on guard in the church were killed. “I saw some people crying, saying that their relatives had been taken away as hostages by the gunmen”.  [other reports claim the hostages were later killed]

Attempts to get military and police authorities in the area to comment on the incident were unsuccessful. A soldier in the area who spoke on condition of anonymity told Vanguard that nine people lost their lives during the attack. He said the Army had sealed up the area and were hunting for the fleeing attackers. Military authorities in Adamawa State have promised to speak on the issue later.

With determination to end the violence perpetrated by terrorists in the region, particularly in Bama, Gwoza, Damboa council areas where over 30 communities were sacked and displaced in the last one week, the state command under the recommendation of the Police Service Commission, has promoted the Area Commander of Bama, Mr. David Dangiwa from the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police to Assistant Commissioner of Police. And Officer in-Charge of Operations, Mr. Aminu Koji was promoted from Assistant Commissioner to Deputy Commissioner of Police with immediate effect.

Disturbed by the tragedy, Alhaji Bukar Aji, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), said the fight against terrorism and crimes was a collective responsibility that should not be left for the Presidency alone.

Nigeria-Borno-Adamawa

Maiduguri, is considered the epicenter of the Boko Haram murderous attacks. Nearly 200 people have been killed this month in attacks by suspected members of the Boko Haram terrorist network in the area around Maiduguri. The city is the birthplace of the group, whose name in the local Hausa language means “Western education is forbidden.”

A Jan. 14 car bomb exploded in Maiduguri, killing about 70 people. Officials blamed Boko Haram, though the state governor suggested it was the work of political opponents.

Other attacks have forced the flight of hundreds of villagers in about 30 farming communities around Maiduguri. Some of the displaced are camping on the outskirts of the state capital. More than 5,000 refugees from the violence have fled to Cameroon and Niger this month, the U.N. said last week.

In the wake of the weekend attacks, many Nigerian citizens fed up with the violence, are calling for Nigeria to be divided.  But many Christians in the North would prefer to stay in their generational homeland and live in peace. They’re protection should be top priority and not allowed to be forced out unwillingly by greed, bigotry and radical extremists. PRAY and be their VOICE!

let-s-pray-nigeria

Christians Not Target of Baghdad Bombings, Iraqi Officials Say

Damage-to-Our-Lady-of-Salvation-Syriac-Catholic-Church-in-Baghdad-Ankawa_com-photo

(Morning Star News) – Government and church officials in Iraq refuted initial claims by police that bombs in southern Baghdad targeted Christians, saying no worshippers leaving a nearby church were hurt.

A car bomb that went off near St. John Catholic Church in the Doura area of Baghdad on Dec. 25 as worshippers were leaving Mass targeted a market, not the church, according to Interior Minister spokesman Saad Maan. News portal RT reported that Iraqi Chaldean Catholic Church Bishop Louis Sako also said the church was not the target, and that none of the departing worshippers were injured.

Police had initially reported that the blast killed 27 worshippers after the Christmas Day service, and that another bomb detonated in a market in the city’s Christian area left 11 people dead, according to press reports. RT reported that the church attack did take place in a Christian area and that most of the 26 people killed were Christians.

Two other roadside bombs in an outdoor market in the Doura area did kill 11 people and wounded 21 others, according to RT, noting that Maan’s statement contained the conflicting information that those blasts killed 35 people and injured 56 others.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad condemned the violence, according to CNN, saying in a statement that Christians in Iraq have suffered terrorist attacks for many years, along with other Iraqis.

“The United States abhors all such attacks and is committed to its partnership with the Government of Iraq to combat the scourge of terrorism,” according to the statement.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni Muslim extremists from Al Qaeda have targeted Iraqis Christians, according to Reuters. Two Christian security guards were wounded in a June 25 church attack in Baghdad, and in 2010 an Islamic extremist attack on Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic Church in the city killed 58 people.

Thousands of members of religious minorities have fled the country in the past 10 years, with the Christian population dropping from about 1.4 million to fewer than 500,000 today.

Morning Star News

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