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Pastor, 20 Worshippers Killed in Nigeria Church Attacks

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 May 01
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May 1, 2012

At least 21 people are dead after gunmen suspected to be members of the Islamist group Boko Haram opened fire in two separate incidents targeting church services in northern Nigeria on Sunday, the Christian Post reports. In the first attack, gunmen rode on motorcycles onto a university campus in Kano, throwing grenades in an area where local churches hold services and shooting worshippers as they ran out to escape. Later that day, gunmen in Maiduguri -- where Boko Haram once had its main mosque -- shot at worshippers inside a chapel of the Church of Christ in Nigeria, killing a pastor and four others. The attacks came just one day after Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan vowed to stop Boko Haram by the end of June; Boko Haram, however, has said the deadly attacks against Christians won't stop until sharia law rules the country. The group has killed an estimated 450 people so far this year, and is said to have gained technical sophistication and weaponry from Islamic groups like al Qaeda and Somalia's al Shabaab.