Friday, December 28, 2012


Six people were killed and two injured when gunmen attacked a church service in a village in Yobe State on Christmas morning. Six others were murdered in an assault on a Christmas Eve service in Borno State.

According to local sources gunmen suspected to be members of the Islamist extremist militia Boko Haram raided Firi Village, situated around 2 kilometres north of Potiskum Town, during the early hours of Christmas Day. They began by attacking the midnight service at the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), where six people were killed, including the church's pastor.

As the attack was underway, residents, many of whom had fled into the bush, sent text messages stating their homes were being set alight and that the security services were yet to arrive at the scene. According to reports received by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), twenty homes and the COCIN church were subsequently razed to the ground.

Local news agencies report that in neighbouring Borno State, gunmen attacked a Christmas Eve service at the First Baptist Church in the capital city Maiduguri killing six people, including a deacon.

Since December 2010, over 45 Christians in five northern states have died in consecutive attacks on Christmas services by Boko Haram. If the recent attacks are confirmed to have been the work of the group, this would constitute the third consecutive year of fatal attacks by Boko Haram on Christmas services and raise the death toll in such attacks to over 55 people.

In his Christmas message Pope Benedict spoke of hope and peace and prayed, amongst other things, for the return of "concord in Nigeria, where savage acts of terrorism continue to reap victims, particularly among Christians."

Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of CSW said: "The courage and commitment of Christians in Yobe, Borno and other northern and central states, who continue to celebrate their faith despite the very real threat of violence, is both inspiring and humbling.  For the third year in a row we have witnessed cowardly attacks on innocent people who were merely expressing their faith during a significant date in the Christian calendar, a date that symbolises peace and reconciliation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families that have lost loved ones in these appalling attacks, and along with our sister organisation in Nigeria, we will continue to pray, hope and work for peace and reconciliation in that nation."

Dr. Khataza Gondwe

Team Leader, Africa and Middle East

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NIGERIA – Gunmen target Christians

Release International Prayer Alert - 28 November 2012

Gunmen attacked and killed three Ibo Christian men in Azare town, Bauchi State, at around 6pm on Monday.
Sources said one of the victims was followed to his house. All were questioned about their faith before they were shot.
Two others were also killed this morning in Sho village, Barkin Ladi, a Christian area near the Plateau state capital of 
Jos. They were named as Thoma Jatau and Ezekiel Gyang.
This killing followed an incident in Barkin Ladi on Monday night in which eight people were shot dead. Several others were injured and taken to hospital.
(Source: Release partner)
For more news and a country profile about Nigeria, click here
Pray:• Ask God to comfort the families and communities of those who were killed.
• Continue to pray for an end to the violence in central and northern Nigeria.

Please forward this email to Christian friends so that they can pray too.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NIGERIA – Double bomb attack on Kaduna church claims 11 lives

Release International Prayer Alert - 26 November 2012

At least 11 people were killed yesterday when suicide bombers attacked a church in a military compound in the northern state of Kaduna.
Suspected Islamist extremists drove a bus packed with explosives into St Andrew's Military Church during a service, causing a first explosion which did not claim any lives, sources say.
However, as church members gathered around the site of the explosion to help the injured, a second car bomb was detonated, just outside the building, about ten minutes later. In addition to those killed, 30 people were reported injured inside the Jaji Military Cantonment, many of them seriously.
No group has claimed responsibility for yesterday's blasts but Islamist extremists Boko Haramare widely blamed for the attack. On Saturday, Nigeria's army offered 290 million naira (about £1.1 million) for information leading to the capture of 19 leading members of Boko Haram.
The group, which is intent on overthrowing the Government and extending strict Islamic law orSharia across Nigeria, frequently targets Christians. Seven people were recently killed in a suicide bombing at a church in Kaduna and in June at least 50 people were killed in the state in bombings and the reprisals that followed.
(Sources:, BBC, Reuters)
For more news and a country profile about Nigeria, click here
Pray:• Pray for all those injured and bereaved in yesterday's bomb attacks in Kaduna. Pray that they will know the Lord as comforter and healer.
• Ask God to strengthen the faith of His church in northern Nigeria, particularly in areas that have become targets for extremist 
violence such as Kaduna and Jos in Plateau state, where frequent attacks are made on Christian communities.
Act:• Join with Christians in the UK praying for Nigeria at a carol service in London organised by LoveJos to highlight the plight of Christians across northern Nigeria. The servic

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Books read in October 2012

1. A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle

A murderously violent hero is not one to endear him to the reader unless I suppose you share his brand of Irish republicanism. We do not seem to be given the historic context which produced such nationalism, only the outworkings of it. But as the author tells us that the 1916 captured rebels were jeered by the Dublin populace, I think I am not alone in my dislike of how Henry fought.

2. How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes:  by Peter D. Schiff

Believing that government has a duty to give us sound money and prevent that legalised theft called inflation I enjoyed this cleverly told tale of the folly that is Keynsian economics. Here is the Austrian school for dummies. In an era when our government loves to print money and call it quantitive easing not inflation, we need the message of this book as we continue to speed to an even bigger crash than the last one. One interesting but undeveloped theme in the book is that universal suffrage could be held to blame for our parlous economic state.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

NIGERIA – At least 14 killed in raids on Christian villages near Jos

Release partners say that militants have killed at least 14 ethnic Berom Christians in raids on villages in Plateau state this week.
Stefanos Foundation, which supports Christian survivors of violent attacks, reports that the raids took place in the Riyom and Barkin Ladi areas near the state capital, Jos.
A mother and her three children were among the dead in Riyom – while two half-brothers were reportedly ambushed in their car and shot dead in Barkin Ladi. Villagers hearing of this second assault later killed a Muslim man in retaliation, according to Associated Press news agency.
Stefanos reports that a 33-year-old man named as Yohana Tengwong was shot in Kashingwol, Barkin Ladi, yesterday morning.
Christian villages in this part of central Nigeria suffer frequent attacks by suspected Fulani militants against a backdrop of heightened religious, ethnic and political tensions.
(Sources: AFP, AP, Stefanos Foundation)
For more news and a country profile about Nigeria, click here
• Thank God that He binds up the broken-hearted (Isaiah 61:1). Ask Him to comfort and strengthen all those who mourn.
• Pray for an end to the cycle of violence in central Nigeria. Pray that Christians will find ways to protect 
themselves without being tempted to retaliate.

Release International, PO Box 54, Orpington, BR5 9RT, UK 

Monday, September 24, 2012

NIGERIA – Suicide bomber targets Bauchi cathedral

A woman and child were killed and more than 40 injured in a suicide bomb attack on a cathedral in Bauchi yesterday – the second attack on Christians there in a week.
The bomber, a woman and a young boy were confirmed dead after the blast outside St John's Cathedral in the Bayan Gari area of Bauchi town, northern Nigeria, just before 9am. 

Many of the injured are said to be in a critical condition. The bomber detonated his explosives by a barricade set up to guard the church.

The attack comes just a week after four gunmen fired indiscriminately on a community centre in the Zongo area of Bauchi, killing at least nine people. Tensions remain high in the town and local Christians are said to be increasingly fearful.

Yesterday's bombing bore the hallmark of recent attacks by Islamist militants Boko Haram. Recent reports suggest many Boko Haram members may have relocated to neighbouring Yobe state, where 1,000 extra troops have been deployed. The group is said to have set fire to the home of the Speaker of the Yobe state House of Assembly yesterday – as well as those of an MP and the Governor's younger brother.
(Sources:, Channels Television – Nigeria, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Vanguard – Nigeria)
For more news and a country profile about Nigeria, click here
• Pray for all those injured and bereaved in yesterday's bombing at St John's Cathedral. Pray that they will 'rest in the shadow of the Almighty' (Psalm 91:1).
• Pray that state and central governments will collaborate closely to stamp out this terrorist threat.

 The information in this email can be reproduced in church magazines and news bulletins, provided the source is acknowledged
Release International, PO Box 54, Orpington, BR5 9RT, UK                  
Tel: 01689 823491
General enquiries: 
Website address:

Monday, September 03, 2012

Books read in September 2012

1. Radical: My Journey from Islamist Extremism to a Democratic Awakening by Maajid Nawaz

I have never before read such polarised reviewing as this book has engendered on Amazon. Perhaps the author should be renamed Marmite Nawaz because reviewers seem to love or hate his book. He does come across as arrogant at times but he is a man of considerable achievements, first for an Islamist cause, Hizb al-Tahrir, then after his radical rejection of Islam, for the Quiliam Foundation and Khudi Pakistan. His work for HT lead to years of imprisonment in Egypt as a member of a banned organisation. His descriptions of interrogation and torture in Egyptian jails are horrific. But his years in jail led him away from Islamism as he learned that there has never been a unified Caliphate with one system of Islamic law. Via the campaign of Amnesty International on his behalf, he came to understand that human rights must be extended to all and one's opponents should not be demonised. He came to espouse a liberal, pluralist view of Islam which now infuriates his former HT friends and even family, so much so that he faces security risks. I am sure he is correct to assert that Islamism has spawned the English Defence League. Extremism begets extremism. His version of Islam is not that of a clash of civilisations. It would be a religion of peace. But in the diverse world of a many faceted religion, will such eirenic thinking triumph. One hopes so, but the reviews here do not make one optimistic.

2. The Lucifer Network by Geoffrey Archer

After an interesting start in Africa, this book did not really grip me the way a good thriller should. Comparisons may be odious but this Archer falls far behind the other one in my judgement. 

3. Purple Hibiscus  by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I found the author's description of life in Nigeria more convincing and true to life than the family at the centre of the novel. Papa seemed to be too zealously Roman Catholic and at the same time too violent. Perhaps there are such men. On the other hand a Nigeria of political discontent, rebellious students, petrol shortage and power cuts is all too realistic. One serious omission is any glossary of Igbo words and phrases. The author uses a lot which remain untranslated.

4. The Blood-Dimmed Tide (John Madden Mystery Trilogy 2) by Rennie Airth

The author captures the 1932 setting in Home Counties England quite well. It is another world with very different attitudes and makes an interesting setting for this story of a serial killer. I found it an average tale, not exactly a gripping page turner but a reasonable leisure read. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

NIGERIA: Boko Haram Attacks : Dec 2011 – July 2012

NIGERIA: Boko Haram Attacks : Dec 2011 – July 2012  

Between the periods of December 2011 to July 2012, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has 
noted a number of attacks by Islamist group Boko Haram, in over seven states in northern and 
central Nigeria, including the Capital Abuja. In the spate of attacks, hundreds have been injured and 
killed, and dozens of homes and churches have been attacked. These attacks have not gone 
unanswered, with both state and national governments putting extra policing, and imposing curfews 
in an attempt to restore order to the streets. While this record is a comprehensive note of 
information that CSW and Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria (CSW N) have been able to 
witness or receive, there have certainly been more attacks in more areas that CSW has not 
documented. What this record does illustrate is, that Boko Haram are organised, and have access to 
resources enabling the purchasing of sophisticated weaponry and bomb making materials. 
Additionally, the group is intent on using violence against ordinary citizens of Nigeria, and more 
specifically, with the obvious targeting of churches and Christians, the religious motivation behind 
their violence.   
1. December 2011 
Eight dead after blast in Kaduna 
A powerful bomb blast rocked Kaduna metropolis on December 7, leaving at least eight dead, many 
badly injured and causing millions of naira worth of destruction to properties and businesses. 
Eyewitnesses told Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria (CSWN) that the bombers were on 
motorcycles, and were heading towards a spare part shop in a busy trading area, before residents 
heard the sound of an explosion, which killed one motorcyclist.  
According to news reports, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Red Cross, 
Federal Road Safety Corps, police and army worked for hours to evacuate the injured and the 
decapitated bodies of victims.   
The Kaduna State Commissioner of Police is reported to have attributed the explosion to gas 
cylinders and batteries in the shops. 
However, Mr. Sunday Mba, the Chairman of the Spare Part Seller’s Union, said that shops in the area 
do not sell gas and that a battery explosion would not cause such extensive damage. According to 
the Associated Press, the Red Cross confirmed the explosion in Kaduna was a bomb, corroborating 
eyewitness reports made to CSWN. Kaduna was one of the sites of deadly post-election violence in 
April. More recently, several people were killed when two villages in southern Kaduna were attacked 
by armed Fulanis. 
Series of blasts rock Jos 
The Plateau State capital Jos was targeted by a series of bombings on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11, 
Sources informed Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) that the bombings followed threats to 
disrupt Christmas celebrations in the area that have been circulating for around two weeks. 
On Saturday night three bombs exploded at television viewing centres on the Bauchi Ring Road, 
claiming the life of one man and injuring eleven people, as crowds were watching a football match 

between Real Madrid and Barcelona. A fourth device failed to explode and was later defused by the 
bomb squad. So far no group has claimed responsibility. 
Elsewhere, a woman was killed and two others wounded in Kaduna State when gunmen attacked 
Kukum Dutse village in Kagoro, Kaura Local Government Area (LGA) during the early hours of 11 
December. The two surviving victims suffered gunshot wounds, and were transferred to Bingham 
University Teaching Hospital in Jos. 
Commenting on the weekend’s events, the Chief Executive Officer of CSW Nigeria, the Reverend 
Yunusa Nmadu, said, "I believe that northern elders could contribute more towards ending these 
frequent attacks on innocent citizens. It is rather worrying that the recently concluded northern 
Nigeria peace summit produced no statement regarding the Boko Haram militia, which has unleashed 
violence in several states of northern Nigeria." 
Two Bomb factories destroyed; but Christmas celebrations threatened 
On Monday 19, two bomb making factories belonging to the Boko Haram Islamist militia were 
destroyed by explosions that killed or injured several bomb-makers in Kaduna State and Yobe State.  
In the early afternoon of 19 December, an improvised bomb detonated prematurely in a house in the 
Mando area of Kaduna metropolis, destroying seven surrounding houses and killing one of the bomb 
makers.  Three other suspected bombers were seriously injured, and were apprehended by locals 
while attempting to flee the scene.   Police found a weapons cache in the ruins of the house.  On the 
same day, one suspected member of Boko Haram died in hospital from injuries sustained when a 
bomb he was constructing exploded at around midday in the Pompomari area of Damaturu in Yobe 
State.  Two of his fellow bomb-makers are being sought by Yobe State police, who also recovered 
various weapons and bomb-making materials from the scene. 
The explosions followed two similar incidents in the Borno State capital earlier in December.  On 13 
December, four people were reported to have died when a bomb exploded in the London Ciki 
Ward of Maiduguri.  At least one of them was a suspected Boko Haram member.  Four days later, 
the premature explosion of an improvised device in the Bolori area claimed the lives of the three 
Boko Haram members who had been constructing it.  The house they were in was allegedly 
discovered to be a major Boko Haram factory for the production of Improvised Explosive Devices 
(IEDs), and AK-47 rifles, explosive substances, wires, wired clocks, remote controls and sensors 
were reportedly found at the scene.  
In a comment on recent events, the Chief Executive Officer of CSW Nigeria, the Reverend Yunusa 
Nmadu, said, “The bomb blasts and subsequent discoveries of dangerous weapons especially in 
Kaduna reveal the extent to which our society have become increasingly insecure and prone to 
violence. We call on the federal and state government to conduct house to house searches that are 
sensitive enough to respect the rights of the innocent, but rigorous enough to uncover potential 
perpetrators of atrocities.” 
During the previous weekend, police in the Kano State capital apprehended 14 suspected members 
of Boko Haram after a fire fight in which three policemen and four members of the sect were killed.  
According to the Kano State police force, large amounts of ammunition were recovered from the 
homes of two of the Boko Haram suspects, including AK-47 rifles, pump-action shotguns, detonators, 
home-made bomb casings gunpowder and ammonium nitrate. Boko Haram threatened massive 
On 16 December pamphlets appeared in Jos signed by an unidentified group threatened to bomb 
various locations in Plateau State on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, including churches and other 
civilian targets. 

40 Killed in Christmas Day attacks 
Over 40 people died in a series of Christmas Day bomb and gun attacks that targeted churches and 
members of the security services in five states in northern and central Nigeria. The Islamist militia 
Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which occurred in Niger, Plateau, Yobe, 
Adamawa and Borno States. 
The majority of fatalities occurred at St Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger State, where 
bombers in a vehicle hurled explosives at the congregation at the end of mass. Sources told Christian 
Solidarity Worldwide-Nigeria (CSW-N) that the priest had asked parishioners to stay a little longer 
for Christmas souvenirs.  Those who did not remain for the ceremony were caught up in the blast. 
At least 35 people died in the Madalla bombing, with scores more suffering various degrees of injury, 
some potentially fatal. CSW-N was informed that in several cases the blast claimed entire families, 
some of whom were burnt beyond recognition in their cars. In the case of one family, the sole 
survivor was a thirteen year-old girl called Chidinma, who had not attended church that day.  
The next explosions targeted a Mountain of Fire Ministries church in Murtala Mohammad Way in the 
Plateau state capital, Jos. The bombers were on foot because the state government had temporarily 
banned the use of unregistered motorcycles for this very reason. The first device destroyed a large 
building outside the church. However, a police patrol was passing by just as the bombers threw the 
second, which hit a wall and destroyed a few cars. Four culprits, reportedly Muslims from the 
Gangare area, were apprehended following a fire fight in which a policeman was injured and later 
died. There were no other casualties, and two more locally made explosives were allegedly 
recovered nearby and disarmed.  
Multiple explosions were reported next from Damaturu, capital of Yobe State, where fighting 
between security forces and Boko Haram had claimed over 60 lives earlier in the week. Most 
significantly, a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb outside the offices of the State Security Service 
(SSS), killing three SSS men. In a subsequent attack on a church in Gadaka, a town approximately 155 
km west of Damaturu, gunmen set ablaze five cars as worshippers fled, but no lives were reported 
A bomb exploded at a hotel in Mubi in Adamawa State injuring one person, but other bombs planted 
around three churches were reportedly disarmed. In the Wasin Umurari area of Maiduguri, capital of 
Borno State, six people died in an attack launched by suspected Boko Haram gunmen. 
Following the attacks, many Christians lamented the fact that their security is no longer guaranteed in 
northern and central Nigeria. Some are even beginning to avoid church gatherings for fear of being 
2. January 2012 

Indigenous Northern Christians forced to relocate to flee violence 
Nigerian Christians from tribes indigenous to Yobe State are increasingly being forced to consider 
relocating from their ancestral home as a result of the activities of the Boko Haram Islamist militia 
On the evening of Wednesday 4 January Boko Haram launched attacks in three northern states, 
hours after the expiry of its deadline for Christians to leave the north, and almost a week after 
President Jonathan had instituted a state of emergency in the most violence-prone areas of four 
states and temporarily closed the nation’s borders with Cameroon, Chad and Niger. 

In the Yobe State capital Damaturu, gunmen attacked a Christian compound in Gashu’a Road, killing 
two people and wounding several others. The militia also murdered the head of Pompomari Ward 
and bombed a beer parlour in an area known locally as Kandahar.  In Borno State, suspected Boko 
Haram gunmen shot and killed the head of Shehuri Ward in Maiduguri. However, two bombs that 
exploded close to the Customs office claimed no casualties. In Jigawa State, a teenage girl died in 
crossfire when dozens of suspected Boko Haram gunmen attacked a police station in Birniwa Local 
Council, wounding a policeman and allegedly planting a bomb that was later disarmed. 
Violence continued in the evening of January 5, as gunmen attacked a meeting at a Deeper Life 
church in the Gombe State capital, killing six people, including the pastor’s wife, and injuring several 
Christians in Damaturu informed Christian Solidarity Worldwide-Nigeria (CSW-N) of reports 
indicating that Boko Haram would be changing tactics in order to circumvent the state of emergency. 
Sources told CSW-N, “We have learned that they have taken note of areas where people gather, 
have marked Christian houses and churches, and will be attacking house by house at night.” 
While some Christians from southern tribes returned to their original areas, the majority of 
Christians in Yobe, as in other northern and central states, are from indigenous tribes and have no 
other home. CSW was told, “We have our farmlands, houses and everything here.  Our great, great, 
great grandparents were born here.  It is our forefather’s land, yet we are being left with the choice 
of relocating to a safer area until things improve, or staying here to die”. 
Commenting on an ultimatum issued the previous week by Niger Delta militants threatening 
retaliation against northern Muslims in the south if Boko Haram continued killing southerners in the 
north, one local source in Yobe said, “Now there is going to be reprisal in the east, which will trigger 
more violence and bloodshed.  If that happens, if not for God’s intervention, this country could be 
divided and indigenous Christians like us in Yobe will be in a terribly dangerous position.” 

Christians killed as they fled violence  
On January 11, Boko Haram gunmen shot dead four Igbo Christian men in Potiskum town in Yobe 
State and threatened to launch an attack on two nearby villages later that evening. 
The four men were reportedly shot in a vehicle as they were migrating southwards to rejoin their 
families, who had already moved to that area to escape the violence.  Previous attempts to join them 
had been hampered by the indefinite general strike against fuel subsidy removal, which has brought 
the nation to a halt. 
On the same day, Boko Haram also threatened to attack Kukargadu and Dagare villages, both of 
which have large populations of indigenous Christians.  However, extra security personnel were 
deployed to the villages, which were consequently kept safe through the night.  
On Tuesday 10, eight men and a woman were killed by suspected Boko Haram gunmen in Potiskum.  
All nine were Christians.  The group, which included a lecturer at the Federal College of 
Education/Technical in Potiskum, four policemen and a young man employed by Jam’a Clinic, were in 
a bar in the Dorawa Ward when they were shot at by gunmen who escaped on motorcycles. On the 
previous day, two Christians were also shot at by gunmen on a motorcycle in the Barracks area of 
Potiskum, but escaped unhurt by falling to the ground and playing dead.  
A 24-hour curfew was imposed in Yobe, and motorcycles were banned due to Boko Haram’s regular 
usage of these vehicles. 

The deteriorating security situation has led to rising speculation that Yobe State could soon be 
entirely emptied of its Christian population as entire lorry-loads of people have been departing the 
state.  One source, who informed CSW-Nigeria he was assisting over two hundred families of 
indigenous Christians with relocation, said, "If this continues unabated, in the next few months or 
weeks there may be no Christians in Yobe State. Though our houses, jobs and churches are here, we 
have no choice but to leave". 
In several instances, fuel subsidy removal protests are being used for alternative agendas.   On 
Tuesday 10, a fuel protest in Gusau, Zamfara State, degenerated into an attack on Ebenezer Baptist 
Church as rioters removed equipment and other valuables from the premises and set them on fire. A 
24-hour curfew was imposed in Kaduna City and its environs on Wednesday 11, after Muslim youths 
went to the governor’s official residence on Tuesday 10, claiming they wanted to seize control.  
On Wednesday 11, a 6am to 6pm curfew was imposed in Niger State after rioting broke out in the 
capital, Minna, and the governor’s campaign headquarters was attacked. 
Meanwhile, retaliatory attacks on Hausa-Fulani neighbourhoods in Benin City in southern Nigeria on 
9 and 10 January during fuel protests resulted in five deaths, mass displacement and the destruction 
of an Islamic School attached to the central mosque. This worrying development follows a week of 
violent events in Adamawa State that left at least 37 people dead in which southerners were 
specifically targeted. 

Blasts rock Bauchi and Kano states 
A series of bomb blasts rocked Bauchi and Kano states in northern Nigeria on January 21 and 22, 
with the death toll in Kano estimated to be over 185 people. 
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for multiple bombings and a shooting spree targeting the 
immigration services, police headquarters and State Security Service (SSS) building in Kano, claiming 
at least 185 lives. The group promised to unleash multiple blasts there after one of their cells was 
uncovered in December 2011, stating at the time that they had left Kano untouched, but would take 
action if their people were not released. In an open letter to the people of Kano following the 
weekend’s bombings, Boko Haram’s spokesman Abul Qaqa said that only the intervention of un- 
named Muslim scholars was preventing the group from unleashing an “endless campaign of violence” 
on the state. 
The Anglican Bishop of Kano spoke to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) after identifying the 
corpse of a member of his congregation who had been missing: “The target was the government, but 
who is the government?  It is the people.” 
Both Muslims and Christians were caught up in the bombings and subsequent shootings; however, 
there was unease in the Christian community that they might be directly targeted in future, as has 
occurred in the past when reprisals for events occurring abroad have been visited upon the local 
Christian community.  As a result, many Christians from southern Nigeria were reported to be 
flocking to bus depots, either to return home or to flee to Abuja. Other Christians are also vowing 
to leave the city. 
On Sunday 22 January in Bauchi Metropolis, Bauchi State, bombs were planted at the Evangelical 
Church Winning All (ECWA) 2 in the Railway Area and Our Lady of St Lauretto Catholic Church, 
Fadama Mada, which sustained minor damage to their walls. There were no injuries or fatalities as 
the bombs exploded in the early hours of the morning. 

On the same day in Tafawa Balewa Town, St Paul’s Anglican Secondary School was partially 
destroyed by a bomb. An attempted attack on a police station was foiled and two of the would-be 
bombers were arrested and later confessed to the church attacks.  There was also an attempted 
robbery of First Bank, and an attack on a hotel and military checkpoint in the Bununu District. The 
violence claimed the lives of two army officers, a deputy superintendent of police and eight civilians, 
including a child. 
3. February 2012 

Church in Jos attacked 
A suicide bomber drove a car into the Jos headquarters of the Church of Christ in Nigeria 
denomination (COCIN) during the morning worship service on Sunday 26 February, killing three 
people and injuring 37. The Islamist group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the attack. 
According to eyewitnesses, the suicide bomber was driving a Volkswagen Golf, and was accompanied 
by a man in military uniform, who left the car at the gate of the church. The bomber forced the car 
onto the premises, causing an industrial gas cylinder which was in the car boot and probably designed 
to amplify the effect of the blast, to fall out before the explosive was detonated. 
The bomber and two church members died in the explosion, while 37 others were injured, and many 
vehicles were destroyed. The soldier who had accompanied the bomber was almost lynched by angry 
crowds and later arrested. 
As youths took to the streets in protest at the bombing, a Muslim-owned shop situated close to the 
church that sold car accessories was burned down, and fighting in an area close to the Township 
Stadium resulted in several injuries.  Violence continued late into the evening, with at least one 
person reported to have been killed. However, calm was restored following an increased security 
There was speculation that security arrangements for the English service at the COCIN church were 
not as thorough as for the Hausa service, and that the bomber may have taken advantage of this in 
order to carry out his attack. 
Prior to this attack, reports had emerged of the discovery of a list of potential Boko Haram targets in 
Jos, that included the COCIN headquarters Church, the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) 
headquarters Church, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, St Luke’s Anglican Cathedral, St Pirans 
Anglican Church, Living Faith Church and the home of the Anglican Archbishop. 
President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the violence and appealed for calm. In a statement he said, 
"The indiscriminate bombing of Christians and Muslims is a threat to all peace-loving Nigerians." 
4. March 2012 

Suicide bomb blast at Catholic Church in Jos 
In Jos in Plateau State a second suicide bombing at a church within a two week period occurred, and 
claimed eight lives. 
The suicide bomber detonated the bomb, which was in his car, just outside the gate of St Finbarr’s 
Catholic Church in the Rayfield area on Sunday 11 March, after a policeman prevented him from 
driving onto the premises. The impact was heard up to two kilometers away, and shattered the glass 
in buildings within a 200m radius. Three of the victims were women who were leaving the church 
after the first service of the day, and one of them was pregnant. 

In an interview, the Rev Father Peter Omore of St Finbarr’s Church said that the second service had 
just started when they heard the explosion. “The Church shook and the glass shattered and the PVC 
ceiling all fell in... I do not know the number of casualties now.” 
The Plateau State Commissioner for Information expressed his grief at the incident. The Anglican 
Archbishop of Jos, Rt Rev Benjamin Kwashi, said, "It is worrying that two bombs have gone off within 
the space of two weeks, and many are fearing a third. Most importantly, a palpable terror is being 
unleashed on Christians so that Sunday is transformed from a day of worship into a day of fear. We 
are appealing to the church worldwide to pray without ceasing, and to members of the international 
community to speak up and take action on our behalf so that we are able to enjoy full religious 
freedom and worship God freely and without fear." 
The blast provoked an angry reaction from local youths and in the immediate aftermath three men 
on motorcycles were killed and their vehicles set on fire. When the youths went to the nearby Joint 
Task Force (JTF) security post demanding to know how the car had eluded checks, and insisting that 
the soldiers leave, four of them were shot and injured by the security forces. The youths later 
refused to be placated by the governor and reportedly demanded the removal of the security forces 
from the state so that they could be responsible for their own defence, adding that they would be 
taking all necessary measures. They then proceeded to drive the soldiers out of the area and 
mounted their own road block. 
Five other people were reportedly killed in ensuing violence in the Ungwan Rukuba area on March 
12 and the morning of March 13.Early rumours of ten deaths from “reprisal attacks”, which were 
widely circulated, could not be confirmed by sources on the ground, and stoked tensions in the 
volatile situation.  
5. April 2012 

Easter Attacks  
On Easter Sunday, 8 April, in Kaduna State, a suicide bomber detonated a car loaded with an 
Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Sardauna Crescent, by Junction Road, after a security guard 
prevented him from entering the area surrounding 1st Evangelical Church All Winning (ECWA) on 
Gwari Road. An estimated 12 people were killed immediately, but the number of dead and injured 
continued to rise in the aftermath of the blast. The death toll eventually rose to 39 people, according 
to reports by AFP News Agency. Mr. Francis Markus, a security guard attached to 1st ECWA 
Church, told CSW-Nigeria (CSW-N) how he was able prevents the bomber from entering the area 
near the church with the help of church member. 
“I insisted that he will not pass until the service is over, but he insisted that he must pass. We 
dragged this for some minutes. He entered the car and reversed and drove towards me. Yet I stood 
my ground and held the iron which we used for the road block. He hit the iron against me. Luckily 
enough, one of the church members came with his bike, parked and intervened. At this point we 
noticed that the man was having an army uniform on the back seat of his car, and an army cap by the 
rear wind screen. Then I told him that as an Army officer, for him to behave that way, he is a 
disgrace to the Army.” 
Ten minutes or so after the bomber drove away towards Junction Street, Mr. Markus heard the 
explosion. An estimated 60 buildings within a 500 meters radius of the blast were severely damaged 
by the blast and may need to be rebuilt. Eight cars and several commercial motorcycles were either 
burnt or severely damaged. CSW-N estimated that property worth millions of Naira was destroyed 
in the blast. 
The Reverend  Yunusa Nmadu, CEO of CSW-N, said, "I condemn in the strongest terms this 
barbaric act of terrorism which, though aimed at the Church, has claimed the lives of innocent 

Christians and Muslims of all tribes. CSW calls on the International community, and particularly the 
US administration, to designate the deadly Islamist militia Boko Haram a terrorist group, because this 
is what it is in reality. We particularly urge the Nigerian government to ensure adequate protection 
for Christians and their properties, as they are the main targets and regular victims of the Boko 
Haram insurgency." 

Boko Haram target University campus  
On the morning of Sunday 29 April, members of Boko Haram attacked two lecture theatres in 
Bayero University Kano (BUK) where congregations were holding church services.  According to 
local reports, there were explosions, and then gunmen opened fire simultaneously and 
indiscriminately at the fleeing crowds in both venues in an attack that allegedly continued for over 40 
minutes. So far 22 people are confirmed to have died during the attack, including three professors 
and a doctor, while 23 are receiving treatment in hospital.  On the same day, suspected Boko Haram 
gunmen attacked the Sunday service of a Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) congregation in the 
Borno State capital Maiduguri, killing five people, including the pastor, just as the communion service 
was underway. 
The events at BUK marked the first attack by Boko Haram on a university premises. Commenting on 
this attack a local source told CSW: “Our lives are being hunted like animals in the bush. The Church 
in northern Nigeria is in even bigger trouble than we realise.  Please mobilise global prayer for us.” 
In the previous week, and  for the first time, Boko Haram attacked newspaper offices in the capital 
Abuja and the northern city of Kaduna leaving at least nine people dead. An eye witness to the 
Kaduna bombing informed CSW Nigeria that after being prevented from parking his car at the 
Kwantagora Junction by security personnel, the bomber informed them that he had an explosive 
device in his vehicle.  When asked to remove and disarm it, he threw it on the ground, where it 
exploded, killing five people instantly and injuring many others. The bomber was arrested after being 
rescued from an angry mob. 
In a subsequent statement Boko Haram warned of further attacks on the press in response to 
“misrepresentation”, adding that ThisDay newspapers had been particularly targeted to avenge a 
2002 article on the Miss World competition that was alleged to have insulted the Prophet 
Mohammed, and had sparked serious religious violence. 

6. June 2012 

Two Churches targeted in Bauchi State 
At least 18 people died and 32 were wounded on June 3, in a suicide bomb attack by Boko Haram 
that targeted two churches in Bauchi State, north east Nigeria. 
The bombing occurred just as the congregation of Living Faith Church in Yelwa Tudu, Bauchi city was 
leaving the service.  However, the casualties came primarily from the neighbouring church, Harvest 
Field Church for Christ, which bore the brunt of the explosion. Twelve cars and a number of 
buildings were also reported to have been destroyed by the blast. 
Local sources reported that rumours of imminent bombings by Boko Haram had circulated over the 
weekend, and that while security in the area was initially reinforced, it had been relaxed prior to the 

bombing. On Monday June 4, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack stating “Today God 
gave us victory by launching a suicide attack on a church in Yelwa neighborhood in Bauchi city”.1 

Three other bombers carrying explosives were reportedly intercepted on their way to the Church of 
Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) and Catholic churches in Yelwa Tudu, but were killed by angry crowds 
that gathered there. 
In a separate development, reports emerged on Saturday of a night attack by armed Fulani tribesmen 
on Sansun Village in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA), Southern Kaduna State, in which a 
man named Matthew Aetung and his son, were hacked to death, his wife was critically injured, and 
his home was razed to the ground. 

Churches attacked in Plateau, Biu and Borno States  
Two churches were targeted in separate attacks that occurred in Jos, Plateau State, and Biu, Borno 
State on Sunday 10 June. 
The building of Christ Chosen Church, Rukuba Road, Jos collapsed after a saloon car loaded with 
explosives rammed into one of its walls during the Sunday worship service. The bomber reportedly 
disguised himself as a worshiper to evade local security. Once he gained entry to the area, he 
accelerated his vehicle into Christ Chosen Church. The pastor of the church, Monday Uzoka, was 
among an estimated 62 people who were critically injured. An estimated ten people are feared dead, 
though an official figure is yet to be confirmed. 
Meanwhile, in Biu, four gunmen invaded a Church of Brethren in Nigeria Church (EYN, Ekkilisiyar 
yanuwa a Nigeria), shooting indiscriminately at church members and killing at least one person. 
Several others were injured. The gunmen fled soon afterwards and were not apprehended. Biu is one 
of the local government areas (LGA’s) in Borno State currently under a state of emergency. Boko 
Haram claimed responsibility for these attacks. 

Third consecutive weekend of Church attacks  
On Sunday 17 June, a suicide bomber drove a car full of explosives into the Evangelical Church 
Winning All (ECWA) Good News Church in Wusasa, Zaria, destroying the children’s church building 
and killing a child and a young man. Several others were wounded, including many children and CSW 
Nigeria’s coordinator for Zaria. 
Also in Zaria, two suicide bombers in separate cars targeted Christ the King Catholic Church as the 
congregation was leaving Mass, killing an estimated 16 people and wounding several others. 
In the Trikaniya area of Kaduna City, another bomb exploded at the Shalom Pentecostal Church as 
ushers were interrogating the bomber, killing three. 
Yunusa Nmadu, CEO of CSW Nigeria, said, "Attacks on Christians while they legitimately worship 
on Sundays are now a common occurrence. Unless the culture of impunity is overcome, our country 
will slowly slip into another civil war that will be fought along religious lines." 
In a comment on the targeting of church services, the Anglican Archbishop of Jos, the Most Rev 
Benjamin Kwashi, said, "Weekends are now a terror for Christians in northern and central Nigeria. 
My heart truly bleeds at the unnecessary killings and I am deeply saddened that in a nation like 

Nigeria there are people who sponsor, plan, train and support people to execute evil specifically 
targeted against worship of God on Sundays by Christians in churches." 
More lives were lost in the aftermath of the bombings as sectarian violence erupted, with angry 
youths taking to the streets of Sabon Tasha and Gonin Gora, in the southern part of Kaduna City, to 
protest the inability of the security services to prevent the bombings of churches, which have taken 
place every Sunday in northern Nigeria for the last three weeks. The situation in Kaduna City was 
eventually brought under control when a 24-hour curfew was issued.  

Boko Haram threaten to make June the ‘bloodiest month yet’ 
On 20 June, a spokesperson from Boko Haram told Sahara Reporters news agency that the group 
had around 300 suicide bombers ready to attack churches in predominantly Christian Southern 
Kaduna and Plateau State. The group claims to have recruited the sons and daughters of Muslims 
killed during past sectarian conflicts, who have received arms and bomb-making training in Mauritania 
and Somalia. 
Boko Haram also announced plans to attack or take over government buildings in Kano, Kaduna, 
Yobe and Gombe states, adding that a major attack on the Federal Capital territory (FCT), namely, 
the capital Abuja, was planned before the end of June as a show of strength to prove that the 
Nigerian security agencies could not contain them. 
Curfews had been used to restore order in Yobe and Kaduna States with varying success. In the 
Yobe State Capital, Damaturu, a curfew was imposed following a sustained attack by around 100 
heavily-armed members of Boko Haram on 18 June that lasted over 24 hours. Over 50 people were 
confirmed dead. The curfew was relaxed on Thursday, the same day that Nigerian news agencies 
reported the arrest in Damaturu of Habibu Bama, suspected master mind of the Christmas Day 
bombing at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, following a shoot-out with the Joint Task Force. 
In Kaduna City, a 24-hour curfew was imposed after reprisal attacks broke out in response to the 
triple church bombings on 17 June.  Attempts to relax the curfew on Monday resulted in more 
violence, as Muslim youths attacked Christian homes and churches in retaliation for the reprisal 
attacks. Though the 24-hour curfew was reinstated, sporadic outbreaks of violence continued to 
occur throughout the city, including yesterday morning, and the atmosphere remains tense. The 
curfew will be relaxed for Muslim prayers today from 12 to 4pm, reinstated on Saturday, and relaxed 
again for Christian worship on Sunday from 9am to 1pm. 

Curfew relaxed in Kaduna State 
The Kaduna State Security Council decided to relax the 24-hour curfew after threats by Boko Haram 
of coordinated attacks on Sunday church services did not take place. 
Although no churches were targeted over the weekend, a bomb exploded at Bayan Gari in Bauchi 
State at around 9pm on 24 June. There were no casualties; however nine people were injured in the 
blast. Another explosion at a popular night spot in Abuja during the early hours of 23 June damaged 
cars but caused no injuries. 
Meanwhile, in Yobe State, members of Boko Haram stormed a prison, freeing 40 inmates. Patrick 
Egbuniwe, Yobe State Police Commissioner, told Al-Jazeera that two of the attackers were shot dead 
and some policemen were injured: "They attacked with rifles, the police and the joint task force 
confronted them and the Boko Haram members that were shot were carried away by the sect." 

7. July 2012 

Explosion in Nigerian Capital 

On July 5, a suspected bomb rocked a shopping centre in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. Police were 
alerted to the blast at a shopping mall in Wuse Abuja II on Tuesday evening. There were no 
immediate reports of casualties, and emergency services warned people against "going to the scene 
of the bomb explosion for fear of secondary explosion and to allow emergency workers to have 

More attacks in Plateau State 

After three weeks of relative quiet and peaceful services in Nigeria, the government of Plateau State 
placed four local government areas under curfew on Monday 9 July following a gun attack that left 
two prominent politicians dead. Senator for Plateau State North Gyang Dalyop Datong and the 
Honourable Gyang James Fulani, Majority Leader in the Plateau State House of Assembly, died during 
an attack on the mass burial of victims of armed raids on a number of villages over the weekend by 
Fulani tribesmen. 

An estimated 12 villages in Riyom and Barkin Ladi, situated on the outskirts of the state capital Jos, 
were attacked simultaneously on Saturday 7 July by hundreds of heavily armed gunmen wearing 
military camouflage and bullet proof vests, in raids reminiscent of the 2010 attacks on Dogo 
Nahauwa, Zot and Ratsat villages in Jos South, which claimed an estimated 400 lives. Early news 
reports suggest that at least 25 people are confirmed dead, five have been hospitalised and 
approximately 150 displaced people have sought refuge in churches. The majority of victims were 
women, children and the elderly. Reports also indicate that around 19 gunmen were later killed and 
one was taken alive during an exchange of fire with the Joint Task Force (JTF). 
A mass burial was hastily organised the next day, and as mourners proceeded to the site they are 
reported to have discovered the burnt remains of around 50 more victims who had fled from the 
villages to shelter in a Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) church in Matse Village, Riyom Local 
Government Area (LGA).  Later, the mourners themselves were ambushed in the armed attack 
which claimed the lives of Senator Gyang Dalyop Datong, and Honourable Gyang James Fulani 
amongst others, and from which a member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Simon 
Madwakom, narrowly escaped.  
There are conflicting reports indicating the two politicians either died of gunshot wounds or from 
shock. Following their deaths, angry youths took to the streets, mounting roadblocks in the area. 
Local people had allegedly reported the existence of a camp belonging to Fulani militants responsible 
for village raids, but say no action was taken by the security services. 
In a comment to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), the Anglican Archbishop of Jos, the Most 
Reverend Benjamin Kwashi condemned the “detestable” attack on funeral goers and expressed 
anxiety for the future if the targeting of villages continues unchecked. 
“This kind of unprovoked, deliberate attempt to overrun a population cannot succeed in the long 
run, whether or not the government takes action to stem it. Unfortunately, there is now an army of 
jobless young people aged 20 and under, who no longer attend church and for whom countering the 
violence is now a matter of survival. They do not listen to what you say, but watch what you do. 
They are seeing Boko Haram succeed using violent methods and if we are not careful, they 

themselves will soon be adopting Boko Haram’s methods. We urgently need to engage them and 
provide direction. The only legacy we should leave for them is the legacy of working for peace.” 
The latest estimates of the weekend’s death toll currently stand at 104, including the dead militants. 
On July 10, Boko Haram issued a statement accepting responsibility for the attacks and said 
“Christians ‘will not know peace again’ if they do not accept Islam”.2 

8. International response to Boko Haram attacks  

On 22 June, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) 
condemned the repeated attacks on churches by Boko Haram and warned that acts against civilians, 
including on such grounds as religion or ethnicity, could amount to crimes against humanity. 
Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the OHCHR, said: “We condemn the repeated attacks by Boko 
Haram on places of worship and on religious freedom, as well as its blatant attempts to stir sectarian 
tensions and violence between two communities that have lived together peacefully for so long.” 
“Deliberate acts leading to population ‘cleansing’ on grounds of religion or ethnicity would also 
amount to a crime against humanity.” 
In a statement released on 19 June, Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European 
Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, condemned 
both the attacks on churches and the reprisal attacks against members of the Muslim community. 
“The EU will renew its efforts in cooperation with the government and people of Nigeria to address 
the underlying social and economic problems in the north of the country, and work with the 
authorities to make the fight against terrorism more effective.” 
Pope Benedict XVI calls for freedom of religion, not vengeance 

On 22 June Pope Benedict XVI spoke out about his “deep concern” about events in Nigeria. He not 
only assured the victims of his prayers and support, but also expressed his hope “that there might be 
full cooperation among all members of Nigerian society, that they might forgo the path of vengeance, 
and that all citizens might rather work together to build a peaceful and reconciled society, in which 
the right freely to profess one’s faith is fully protected”.