Over the Christmas period, at least 27 Christians were killed in three separate terrorist attacks in northern Nigeria. The attacks have been blamed on Boko Haram, the radical Islamist group, which has been waging a war on Christians and the Nigerian government.
Nigerian Christians are asking churches across the world to pray for their safety from deadly attacks this Christmas, amid renewed threats.The Rev Musa Asake, General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said that he is “very, very worried.”
On the evening of Monday 6 August, gunmen attacked a Bible study group of about 80 Christians in Deeper Life Bible Church on the outskirts of the city of Okene in Nigeria’s central Kogi State, about 225km southwest of the capital, Abuja.
The government of Plateau State, central Nigeria, 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 Datong and Majority Leader in the Plateau State House of Assembly Gyang Fulani, both believed to be Christians, died during an attack on the mass burial of victims of armed raids on Christian villages the previous day.
For the third Sunday in a row, church services in Nigeria ended in bloodshed when three churches in Kaduna state were attacked by suicide bombers on Sunday 17 June, killing more than 50 Christians.
A suicide bomber crashed through the gate of a church compound in the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi on 3 June 2012, killing himself and at least 10 others and leaving more than 30 injured.
The bomb was detonated at the gate of Living Faith church as members were leaving an early morning worship service. The explosion also brought down a wall of the adjacent Harvest Field church.
The extreme Islamist sect Boko Haram has killed at least 36 people in attacks on worship services in northern Nigeria and attacks on newspaper offices in the north and centre of the country.
The city of Kaduna in northern Nigeria is in shock and mourning following a devastating explosion on Easter Sunday that killed 39 people and injured dozens more.
Boko Haram was formed in 2002 by Sheikh Mohammed Yusuf in Maiduguri, capital of the north-eastern Nigerian state of Borno. Originally formed to fight against government corruption and economic disparities between the north and the richer south, its aim now is to overthrow the government, create an Islamic state and impose strict sharia law. Borno, where Boko Haram has its base, is one of twelve northern states in which sharia is already in force. Christians are supposed to be exempt, but are often forced to comply.
Two church members died and 37 were injured on Sunday 26 February when a suicide bomber drove a car laden with bombs into the worship service of a Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) congregation in Jos, the capital city of Plateau state in central Nigeria. A man claiming to be a spokesman for Boko Haram reportedly claimed responsibility for the blast.