Nigeria: Violence in Yobe State Aimed Mainly at Christians
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2011 Nov 14
Of the 150 Nigerians that were killed Nov. 4 when the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram stormed Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State, 130 were Christians, Compass Direct News reports. Hundreds of people are still missing, and the destruction during the four-hour rampage included the bombing of at least 10 church buildings. More than 200 Boko Haram members blocked all four major highways leading into town, dislodged security agencies after a series of gun battles and the detonation of explosives, then led other area Muslims to the only Christian area of town, called New Jerusalem, which is home to more than 15,000 Christians. Any Christian who could not recite the Islamic creed was instantly killed. "The trauma my 10-year-old son had as a result of sounds from guns and explosions has not left him, as he has refused to eat ever since the attack," said the Rev. Idris Garba, pastor of a 500-member church in New Jerusalem. "We could not have had more than 100 worshipers on the Sunday after the attack. Most Christians are either missing or have left the town." Bomb blasts the previous day (Nov. 3) in Maiduguri, Borno State, about 80 miles east, killed four people, with one of the explosions coming from a triple suicide bombing of a military base.