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Low Turnout at Churches in Northern Nigeria Due to Persecution

Low Turnout at Churches in Northern Nigeria Due to Persecution

ICC Note:

Although Christmas was celebrated peacefully for the first time in years in Nigeria, many noted the low turnout at churches for Christmas and Christmas Eve services. Many Christians feared attending church during the holidays due to the chance of attacks by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram. For the past several Christmases, Boko Haram has attacked Christians over the Christian holiday in an attempt to spread terror. 

12/26/2013 Nigeria (All Africa) - Christmas was celebrated peacefully in Maiduguri yesterday though with low turnout of worshipers for church services across the city.

Our correspondents who went round some churches in the metropolis observed a low number of worshipers who turned up for Christmas service. Some of the worshipers told Daily Trust that most people travelled to their hometowns to celebrate. At the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Pompomari area, service was held between 8am and 9pm. A worshiper, Comfort Isuwa, said: "I am very glad to tell the world that we, the Christian faithful in Borno, have in all peace witnessed a glorious Christmas. We peacefully held our services, paid congratulatory visits to one another and exchanged gifts."

Despite fears of attacks, the Christmas was observed peacefully in Kano yesterday. At the time of filing this report, Christians were seen moving peacefully all over the city, especially in Sabon Gari and Brigade, celebrating. Chairman of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Bishop Ransom Bello, acknowledged the peaceful celebration.

"This year's Christmas celebration is very peaceful and better than that of the previous year. The peace attained may not be unconnected with the security beef up and the state government's commitment in ensuring that lives and property are protected," Bishop Bello said. Eze Indigbo, Dr. Boniface Ibekwe, said Christians in Kano were very happy to celebrate the Christmas peacefully. He prayed for continuous peaceful coexistence among Nigerians. Police spokesman ASP Musa Magaji Majiya said peace reigned because of extra vigilance.

Courtesy International Christian Concern. Originally posted on All Africa. Used with permission.