Saturday, July 16, 2011

Christians flee northern city as militant sect plan massive assault

Christians in northern Nigeria’s Borno state are stopping church services and fleeing their homes following a spate of attacks by militant Islamists. Ten Christians were killed in two bombings on 1st and 7th of June after the attackers stormed a church service and threw bombs into the premises. Another four Christians were killed on 16 June following a similar attack on a Brethren Church and other churches have reported attacks and threats.
In Maiduguri, Christians are streaming out of the city. Churches bold enough to open, have rescheduled their worship services, to outmanoeuvre militants who knew that most services start at 10 a.m.
The bombings are being attributed to the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. The group has carried out over 20 deadly attacks in the city since the beginning of the year, the state university has closed indefinitely, and hundreds of people are reported to be fleeing the city following a weekend of violence that left at least 30 people dead, some allegedly at the hands of the security services.
In June, Boko Haram issued an online statement warning that it's "commandos" had completed their “training in Somalia", and would consequently be "stepping up attacks in the coming weeks in all northern states", particularly in places "such as Plateau, Kaduna, Taraba, Benue … [and] especially in Kaduna."
Open Doors has also received reports that the deposed and ailing patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Abune Antonios, is in poor health after maintaining another hunger strike to protest his own circumstances and his government's interference in Orthodox Church business. Under house arrest since 2005, the 84-year-old clergyman is still prevented from receiving visitors and refused the diet required for his diabetes.
Dr. Abdulateef Adegbite, secretary-general of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, pleaded with members of Boko Haram to put an end to the senseless killings. "Our plea is that you cease fire and embrace peace," he said. "We can't continue to go on like this."
Prayer Resources for Nigeria:
www.opendoorsuk.org/praybycountry
Source: Compass News Direct, CSW
Please pray:
1.    For the families of Christians who have been killed or injured, that they would know God’s peace and healing at this time.
2.    That the government will take decisive action to address the country’s Christian/Muslim divide.
3.    That Boko Haram members behind the Jihadi attacks will be revealed and disabled from causing further violence.

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