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(World Watch Monitor) A father and son were killed, and three women and a baby abducted, in an attack in Nigeria’s northern state of Kano, in the largely Muslim area of Tudun Wada.
At around 8pm on 15 August, armed men, believed to be local Muslims, attacked the house of Baba Kale Dankali (62), a local Christian, and killed him.
His son, Micah Kale (20) heard the gunshot, went out to see what had happened and found his father dead. At his agonised cries, the attackers returned and shot him dead too.
Both victims’ widows fled with their children.
The armed men also targeted other Christian families, kidnapping three women and a baby.
Fear caused many Christians to flee; it brought back memories of previous attacks, including the September 2007 violence, which claimed nine lives among Christians, according to official figures. (However, other sources put the toll far higher than that – one policeman was overheard complaining he was “fed up of packing corpses.”)
Locals say the latest attack is part of ongoing persecution aimed at uprooting Christians from the region.
In April 2015, in Gidan Maso village, Rogo, local youths set fire to the home and Baptist church of Rev. Habila Garba, after they failed to find a Christian man who’d briefly converted to Islam before returning to Christianity.
Reverend Garba’s daughter died of suffocation in the fire.
This prompted a reaction from the Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi II, one of the most prominent Muslim leaders in Nigeria. In a landmark decision, he expressed his dismay, and ordered the rebuilding of the destroyed church and house. He also warned that such an incident should never be repeated in Rogo or anywhere else in Kano State Emirate.
In 2007, several churches had been burnt and businesses and homes of non- Muslims looted and destroyed during the violence, forcing owners to flee. Policemen were reported to have lost their homes and property.
That violence appears to have begun when a group of Muslim students invaded a room shared by two Christians at the Government Secondary School in Tudun Wada, and began to severely attack them. When the Christians asked what they had done wrong, their assailants told them to “mind their own business”. However, once the school Principal arrived, the Christians were accused of drawing a picture of Mohammed on a mosque wall and of planning an assault on Muslim students.
Despite the Emir’s stance in 2015, violence still goes on, a local Christian leader – who prefers to remain anonymous – told World Watch Monitor. He said years of impunity make Christians an easy target, as Muslim armed men can attack or kidnap Christians for ransom, with the complicity of some local authorities.
All attempts to bring cases to justice have failed, as no investigation is carried out. Even when the perpetrators were identified, they were not prosecuted. Moreover, the victims face lots of intimidation, with some often arrested or charged themselves by local authorities when they report the crime.
An aid worker from Open Doors (a charity which supports Christians under pressure for their faith), who visited recently, confirmed that Christians in Tudun Wada are in great difficulty.
Each time they tried to rebuild churches destroyed during the 2007 violence, local Muslims destroyed everything overnight. The government is not doing anything to prevent the locals from this vandalism, he said. This has become so discouraging that some churches decided to sell their land to the government and rebuild their churches elsewhere. Others are forced to gather for worship in the ruins of their church.
He says Christians are also denied basic rights, and are not allowed to buy land or build churches. All mission schools and hospitals have been repossessed by the government, while Christian children are denied scholarships for study.
Christian girls are frequently abducted and forced to marry Muslim men.
Christian youths have to be home-schooled, or assume Muslim names in order to be allowed entry to government schools – or have to relocate to schools in the predominantly Christian south or in the Middle Belt region.
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Nigeria (Morning Star News) – A bomb attack in the northern Nigerian city of Kano on Sunday (July 27) killed four Christians and a soldier, sources said.
The bomb was hurled over a fence of St. Charles Catholic Church as parishioners were leaving a worship service, they said; Islamic extremists from the Boko Haram terrorist group were suspected.
“The bomb was thrown by the Boko Haram bomber over the fence behind the church, because the church leadership had mounted a barricade on the entrance of the church,” church member Gabriel George told Morning Star News. “Four members of our church died, and eight others who were injured are in hospital receiving treatment.”
A Christian leader in Kano whose identity is undisclosed for security reasons confirmed that four church members died in the attack on the predominantly Christian quarter of Sabon Gari, where Boko Haram has struck before.
“The attack on the St. Charles Catholic Church here in Kano is a continuing onslaught by the radical Islamic elements of the Boko Haram sect,” he said. “It is unfortunate that we have continued to be at the receiving end of the agenda by Islamists to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.”
Kano state police corroborated accounts, saying the bomb was detonated on church premises, killing four church members, a soldier on duty at the facility, and injuring eight others.
Also on Sunday in the city, five police officers were injured in the course of preventing a suicide bomber outside a university, police said. Hiding the bomb under a long black hijab, or full-body covering, the woman blew herself up after police requested that a female colleague frisk her.
Another bomb in the Sabon Gari area exploded at a bus station on Thursday (July 24), killing a woman and injuring eight other people, police said. Boko Haram was also suspected in that incident. At a public health college in Kano on June 23, a bomb blast killed at least eight people, and a suicide car bomb explosion in Sabon Gari on May 19 killed four people, including a young girl.
While Boko Haram (translated as “Western education is a sin”) is the moniker residents of Maiduguri, Borno state gave the insurgents, the group calls itself the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal–Jihad, translated as “The Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad.” It seeks to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria.
The group has links with Al Shabaab in Somalia and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population of 158.2 million, while Muslims account for 45 percent and live mainly in the north.
May 19, 2014 (Morning Star News) – Christian sources said an apparent suicide bombing in a Christian area of northern Nigeria’s city of Kano Sunday night (May 18) killed about 20 people, more than the police tally of five.
The police death toll for the bombing at about 10 p.m. includes the bomber. The Rev. Murtala Marti of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Kano told Morning Star News by phone that about 20 people were killed in the attack in the Christian “foreign quarter” of the Muslim-majority city.
“The bomb attack occurred on Sunday night along Gold Coast Road in the Sabon Gari area here in Kano,” Marti said. “Twenty Christians were killed in the bomb blast, but police authorities are saying only five died.”
The Kano city Christian leader said that that Christians were killed along the road and in nearby restaurants and bars, though originally the likely target of the attack were three area churches.
“Most often the plot is to get at churches, but when it becomes impossible for the terrorists to get there, they usually detonate their bombs anywhere Christians are gathered, either in churches or restaurants,” Marti said.
Eyewitnesses told Morning Star News by phone that the lone bomber in the vehicle had sought directions to some of the churches from area Christians but detonated the bomb when the Christians became suspicious of his intentions. Area Christians blame Islamic extremist terrorist group Boko Haram for a suicide bombing that killed at least 24 people in Kano in July 2013 and 25 people in the city in March 2013, and one eyewitness assumed the assailant from last night’s bombing belonged to the group.
“The Boko Haram suicide bomber, on sensing that these Christians were suspicious about his inquiries on the churches, detonated the bomb along the road at No. 1 Middle Road, close to three churches,” said the source, who requested anonymity for security reasons.
The likely original targets, he said, were the Methodist Church of Nigeria, an Assemblies of God Church and a Universal Reformed Christian Church (NKST, Nongu u Kristu u i Ser u sha Tar) of the Tiv ethnic group, all located along Middle Road. The explosion occurred at the junction of Middle and Gold Coast roads.
Police confirmed that among those killed was a 12-year-old girl. Aderenle Shinaba, Kano state police commissioner, told reporters that five people were killed and four injured. He said the car exploded before reaching the bomber’s target of an area of an even more dense concentration of restaurants and bars on Gold Coast Road. Muslims are forbidden from drinking alcohol, and Boko Haram seeks to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout the country.
While Boko Haram (translated as “Western education is a sin”) is the moniker residents of Maiduguri, Borno state gave the insurgents, the group calls itself the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal–Jihad, translated as “The Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad.” In 2013 the U.S. government designated it a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and it has links with Al Shabaab in Somalia and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
In Nigeria’s northeast, U.S. British, French, Spanish and Israeli military units experienced in surveillance, intelligence-gathering, counterterrorism and hostage negotiations are helping to search for nearly 300 high school girls Boko Haram kidnapped on April 15, according to Fox News.
According to police, 276 girls remain in captivity after their abduction from a boarding school in the predominantly Christian town of Chibok, Borno state, while 53 escaped. Witnesses have said the captured girls were driven into the Sambisa Forest on the border with Cameroon, and that some were forced to marry members of the insurgent group while others may have been sent to other parts of Cameroon.
A video purporting to show the girls reciting the Koran does not include the kidnapped girls, a source told the Baptist Press.
Adeniyi Ojutiku, co-founder of Lift Up Now, which addresses needs in his homeland of Nigeria, told the news agency that parents of the kidnapped girls were unable to identify their children in the video.
He said the video is most likely an effort to mislead those searching for the girls.
Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population of 158.2 million, while Muslims account for 45 percent. Those practicing indigenous religions may be as high as 10 percent of the total population, according to Operation World, so the percentages of Christians and Muslims may be less.
Church seeks compensation for victims of Boko Haram
The church commended the implementation of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
The Church of Christ in Nations, COCIN, has advocated for compensation to victims of the Boko Haram insurgents.
The church also pledged its total support for the steps taken by the federal government in restoring peace at the northeastern part of the country through emergency rule.
It stated its position in a communique made available to journalists on Saturday after COCIN’s 82nd annual general council meeting which held at its headquarters in Jos on Friday evening.
“COCIN applauds the bold step taken by the Federal Government in declaring a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States and prays that it will bring lasting peace. The general church council calls on the federal and various state governments to take proactive and definite measures to curb insecurity and the growing menace of the Boko Haram Islamic sect terrorist group.
“We reiterate our position against the proposed amnesty to Boko Haram as it will only mean rewarding and glorifying crime,” the church stressed.
The three page communique also frowned at the brutal killing of innocent people across the country by the Boko Haram.
“COCIN condemns in strong terms the brutal killings at Baga and Bama both in Borno State, Wukari in Taraba State, Alakyo, in Nasarawa State, Agatu in Benue State and that of Gombe and Kano States and of recent Katsina State. We condole the family and Christians in Borno State over the killing of the State CAN Secretary, Rev. Faye Pama, by the Boko Haram second,” it stated.
At the opening of the three day general council meeting on Wednesday, president of COCIN, Soja Bewarang, disclosed that insecurity in the northeastern states had forced the church to relocate some of its workers for their safety.
The church also called on the Federal Government to consider compensation for all victims of Boko Haram. Also, at the end of the meeting, the general church council approved creation of 17 new regional church councils and one provincial church council. Source
Nigeria: Militants Turning Country into Christian Killing Field
Atheist Condemns Christian Troops
WASHINGTON, USA (BosNewsLife)– While the Obama administration carefully avoids any religious connection between Islamic jihad and the Boston bombings, the president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation bluntly told Pentagon officials that Christian troops who proselytize are guilty of sedition and treason and should be punished.
“Someone needs to be punished for this,” said Mikey Weinstein. “Until the Air Force or Army or Navy or Marine Corps punishes a member of the military for unconstitutional religious proselytizing and oppression, we will never have the ability to stop this horrible, horrendous, dehumanizing behavior.”
Weinstein also said his Foundation has thousands of Protestant members who are only opposed to Christian fundamentalists. “As soon as we find a fundamentalist Muslim, atheist, Jewish person or anybody else, we will be happy to fight them, but so far they have been few and far between,” he said.
Surprisingly, Weinstein seems unaware that there are many fundamentalist Muslims who are willing to fight us all the way to the Finish Line of the Boston Marathon. After Weinstein went to the Pentagon to discuss the state of religion in the military, Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Family Research Council, wondered why U.S. officers were taking advice about religious freedom from one of the most rabid atheists in America. “That’s like consulting with China on how to improve human rights,” he said.
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, an FRC executive VP, told Fox News that he sees a pattern of attacks on Christianity within the military. “Mickey Weinstein has a very visceral hated of Christianity and those who are Christians,” he said. “He’d like to see it eliminated from the military entirely.” However, that seems unlikely since military chaplains are an exception to the so called separation of church and state found in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment; the Department of Defense must support the free exercise of religion by its service personnel and DoD employees because the Constitution proscribes Congress from enacting any law prohibiting the free exercise of religion, according to The American Center for Law and Justice. This is especially true when U.S. service personnel must deploy to parts of the world where the facilities to practice their respective faiths are not only unavailable, but non-existent, such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which prohibits all public worship save Islam.
Iranian Christians face ‘systematic persecution and prosecution’
Iran’s treatment of its Christian minority has come under fresh scrutiny in recent months with some damning verdicts on the country’s human rights record.
Reports from the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) cite evidence of “systematic persecution and prosecution” of Protestants and Christian converts, as part of a widespread violation of international laws.
As national elections draw near (voters go to the polls on June 14), Iran is under increasing international pressure to improve its human rights record or face continued sanctions – sanctions ICHRI says are impacting the welfare of the Iranian people.
In its April report, A Growing Crisis: The Impact of Sanctions and Regime Policies on Iranians’ Economic and Social Rights, ICHRI says that, rather than damaging the Iranian regime, sanctions resulting from Iran’s nuclear program have “brought about a severe deterioration in the ability of the Iranian people to pursue their economic and social rights”.
‘Systematic persecution’ The UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, noted in September 2012 that more than 300 Christians have been arrested and detained since 2010, while at least 41 were detained for periods ranging from one month to over a year, sometimes without official charges.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in February that Iran “refuted” the UN’s claim of an increase in discrimination towards religious minorities, claiming “all people of Iran regardless of their religion or ethnicity enjoy equal citizenship rights”. READ MORE
Sudanese center says incidents of apostasy, atheism increasing in country
KHARTOUM (Sudan Tribune) – The chairman of the Islamic Center for Preaching and Comparative Studies, Ammar Saleh, said that cases of apostasy and atheism are on the rise in the country and accused authorities of negligence in addressing this issue.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Saleh claimed that the number of converts from Islam in Khartoum has reached 109 apostates, stressing that these figures are growing in a “continuous” and “scary” fashion, especially with the presence of atheists and homosexuals.
The Islamic figure slammed the government for not taking decisive action against missionaries operating “boldly” in the country. He said that anyone who denies the existence of proselytising or the increase in people converting to the Shiite faith are either “living on Mars” or are in denial.
Saleh appealed to the official bodies and the community to take a stand against Christianisation and find a long-term solution to the problem, arguing that government’s efforts in this regard are timid compared to missionaries’ efforts. He also accused the Orthodox Church of building a church in Ombadda without a permit in a “de facto” manner.
The former head of Ombadda People’s Committee, who is also a member of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), Adam Mudawi, claimed that they have information indicating that there is an underground storage facility in the three-story church that contains a large cache of weapons. Mudawi also said there is a satellite dish inside the church and its function remains unexplained. He accused the church of exploiting poor citizens by providing financial support and assistance to aid its proselytising activities.