The front of the church after the bombing
The Islamist sect Boko Haram is claiming to have around 300 suicide bombers ready to attack churches and plans to make June “the bloodiest month yet”. CSW is launching 30 days of prayer for Nigeria in response to calls for prayer from Nigerian Christians.
Boko Haram plans “the bloodiest campaign ever”
After last weekend’s triple suicide bomb offensive on churches, Boko Haram, the Islamist sect responsible for the attacks, says it is planning to make this month “the bloodiest June ever”.
Speaking to a Nigerian agency this week, a spokesman said this would be the bloodiest month yet, with the group planning multiple church attacks, a huge bombing in Abuja and assaults on government facilities. The group claims it has 300 suicide bombers ready to target churches in predominantly Christian southern Kaduna State and Plateau State. The sect also plans to attack or take over government buildings in Kano, Kaduna, Yobe and Gombe States, along with a major assault on the Federal Capital Territory at the end of June. The sect reportedly wants to prove that Nigerian security forces have not hampered its operations, and cannot match its deadly force.
Massive attack on Yobe state capital
Yobe state’s capital, Damaturu, suffered a massive attack by 100 heavily armed Boko Haram members, which began on 5pm on Monday and was only brought under control over a day later. Bombing and shooting continued throughout Tuesday despite a 24-hour curfew being in place. So far over 50people are confirmed dead, and this figure is expected to rise.
Fears grow in Kaduna as 24-hour curfew fails to control violence
A 24-hour curfew was imposed on Kaduna City after reprisal attacks broke out in response to Sunday’s bombings. 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 continue to occur throughout the city. CSW Nigeria reported there is great fear in Kaduna, particularly since the curfew is failing to end the violence.
Pope Benedict XVI calls for freedom of religion, not vengeance
On Wednesday 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”.
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Join 30 days of prayer for Nigeria
CSW launches 30 days of prayer for Nigeria and urges Christians around the world to show their support. You can take part by joining CSW’s Facebook group
• For all those who have lost loved ones, asking God to comfort and uphold them, sustaining them with His peace.
• For an end to the cycle of retaliatory violence, and that security forces would be able to calm situations using minimal force.
• Pray fervently for every attack planned against churches or government facilities to fail, and attackers to be apprehended.
• Ask God to move in power to expose Boko Haram’s plans, members, funders and backers and bring an end to every aspect of the violence perpetrated by the group.
• That regardless of their creed, Nigerians would unite against Boko Haram.
For the urgent restoration of peace and true reconciliation between religious communities in Kaduna.