In late May, three bombings took the lives of more than 100 people in a span of four days, in the Nigerian city of Jos. The bombs are believed to have been planted by an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria. Among the victims were seven Christian students who were killed in a bus in the vicinity of the first explosion, reported the Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students.
The students had just finished their medical school lectures, and were returning to their hostels. ”My daughter went for lectures as usual,” said Humphey Nwafor, whose 20-year-old daughter Francisca, a Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students leader, was killed in the attack. “After the bomb blast, I started searching in most of the hospitals, but I couldn’t find her until yesterday morning [May 21]. I saw her body at the university teaching hospital mortuary.”
Hours after the bombings, rumors circulated across the city that Christian youths were planning to attack Muslims in revenge. Religious leaders issued appeals for peace among their congregations. A sliver of hope began to emerge after the attacks, when a number of Christian campus-based groups began to engage in dialogue with leading Muslim youth groups to reflect on the situation, and promote a peaceful coexistence.
”We resolved to go to our respective areas and try to stop anybody from organizing revenge actions as a result of the bomb blast. We resolved to encourage people to live in peace, and to show sympathy with those who have lost their loved ones, and support them in whatever ways we can rather than [harboring] anger, revenge and bitterness,” said Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam, regional secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students.
Rather than responding with retaliation, some students are donating blood for the survivors who remain hospitalized.
Source: World Watch Monitor
Father, for so long we have been praying for northern Nigeria. Strengthen us to be persistent in our prayers until peace returns to them. We continue to pray for the return of the 200+ school girls who were abducted, and we pray for the victims of these recent bombings-men, women, children and university students whose lives were snuffed out in a moment. We pray for those who are injured- who will never walk again or be able to provide for their families. We pray for those who are at the end of hope, who cannot see Your presence in the midst of this overwhelming sorrow. Protect them from rage and bitterness and revenge, leaving justice only to You. Thank You for the university students who are setting aside revenge even as they grieve the loss of fellow students. We thank You that You are showing them how to use this opportunity for dialogue to bring about peace and reconciliation, and to cause the light of Your gospel to shine brightly in the darkness. In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, Amen.