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Church of Christ in Nigeria Reeling From Massacre

In the U.S., we don’t think much about difficult it is to be a follower of Jesus. Our culture is generally pretty tolerant. Not so in other places and daily Jesus followers loose their lives as a consequence of loving Jesus. Makes you think. Makes you cry. What can we do to help?

In the Plateau state of central Nigeria, tensions had run high all week between ethnic Fulani, who are mainly Muslim, and ethnic Birom, mainly Christian. It was only the latest outbreak of anger in a decade-long cycle of aggression and reprisals.

But this time, anxiety ran high enough that, by Saturday, July 7, about 50 members of the Church of Christ in Nigeria around the village of Maseh had fled their homes, taking refuge in the home of their pastor.

The gunmen came Saturday, entering the home and opening fire. Then they burned the house.

“Fifty of our church members were killed in the church building where they had fled to take refuge. They were killed alongside the wife of the pastor and children,” said Rev. Dachollom Datiri, vice president of the Church of Christ in Nigeria, in a July 11 interview with Open Doors News at the church’s headquarters in Jos.

Church officials said that in all, about 100 Church of Christ members were killed in the weekend attacks in 12 villages: Maseh, Ninchah, Kakkuruk, Kuzen, Negon, Pwabiduk, Kai, Ngyo, Kura Falls, Dogo, Kufang and Ruk.

“In these twelve villages, all the church buildings of our church were burnt by the Muslim attackers,” Datiri said.

Fulani spokesmen denied involvement. On Tuesday, the radical Islamic group Boko Haram said it was responsible for the attacks, and insisted all Christians abandon Christ and accept Islam or they “would never know peace again.”

via Church of Christ in Nigeria Reeling From Massacre – Religion Today Blog.

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