Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan Calls for More Prayer as Persecuted Churches Vow ‘Not to Stay Silent’

People look at damage in a market area after a bomb explosion in Ajilari-Gomari near the city's airport, Maiduguri, Borno State, March 2. (Reuters/Stringer)
People look at damage in a market area after a bomb explosion in Ajilari-Gomari near the city’s airport, Maiduguri, Borno State, March 2. (Reuters/Stringer)

Nigeria’s largest church network is calling on the country’s president for more protection from Boko Haram attacks.

The president, meanwhile, is calling for more prayer.

“We will not keep silence amidst persecution Christians are facing,” the Rev. Ayo Oritsejafor, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, told World Watch Monitor on March 7.

“The killings in Northern Nigeria are condemnable and act of wickedness to humanity,” Oritsejafor said. “It is unfortunate that worshippers are being killed in their homes and places of worship. We are not happy with this trend and will continue to pray to God to bring an end to this excruciating situation we are going through in Northern Nigeria.”

Deadly attacks have been carried out on an almost daily basis in central and northern-eastern States of Nigeria. On Saturday night, three churches were burnt down to ashes in an attack attributed to Boko Haram in Fota town, in the Gombi Local Government area of Adamawa state.

The attackers, suspected to be from the militant Islamic Boko Haram insurgency, also burnt down a police station and killed seven police men before moving to the churches, said the Rev. Lawrence Dim, a Catholic priest in the area.

“Many of the people have fled the area, but [the attackers] burnt down three churches: there is EYN and LCCN Churches and one other church. They also injured some people and killed some,” Dim told World Watch Monitor, though he did not estimate the number of victims.

On Feb. 26, at least 14 people were killed in coordinated attacks by heavily armed Boko Haram fighters on Kirchinga, Michika and Shuwa villages in Adamawa State. Many properties including three Catholic churches were set on fire. More than 400 were killed in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in February.

In Central Nigeria, widely called the Middle belt, the predominantly Christian Berom community has sustained heavy lost following increasing attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

Eighteen people, most of them women and children, were killed on March 4 and 5 in four villages—Dorok, Gwon, Gwarama, and Gwarim; all in the Riyom Local Government area of Plateau State. Among the victims were eight people of the same family. The assailants, wearing military-style uniforms and armed with sophisticated weapons, burnt more than 200 houses, churches and other places of prayer.

According to one survivor, who identified himself as Peter Daniel, the attackers vowed to annihilate residents who returned back to their villages.

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SOURCE: World Watch Monitor

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