Powerful Bomb Kills 38 Near Churches in Nigeria
SANTA ANA, Calif. (April 9, 2012) – While Christians in the United States celebrated the Risen Savior in peace on Easter, a suicide car bomber killed at least 38 people in the vicinity of two Christian churches in Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna state in north-central Nigeria, according to the Associated Press. Other reports put the number of killed at 20 to 25.
The explosion rocked businesses and traffic on the busy roads near the All Nations Christian Assembly Church and the ECWA Good News Church. Apparently the churches were the target of the bomber as worshippers gathered for Easter morning services.
Pastor Joshua Raji told the Associated Press that the explosion occurred when communion was being served. “It shattered all our windows and doors and some of our equipment in the church,” he said.
No group has taken responsibility for the attack. However, the Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram has waged war against Christians in the last few years in an attempt to bring Sharia law (strict Muslim law) to all of Nigeria. According to an Associated Press count, Boko Harma has killed 380 people – mostly Christians – in attacks this year.
“The increasingly intentional activity of Boko Haram has taken on the characteristics of a real war,” said Open Doors USA President Dr. Carl Moeller. “These are not random attacks, as they’re often characterized in the media. They are intentional, and they’re designed with one purpose in mind: the elimination of Christianity.
“Christians are particularly at risk on Christian holy days such as Christmas and Easter. Last Christmas a suicide bomb attack at a church in Madalla killed 44 church members. Please pray with me for the violence to come to an end and for comfort for those mourning the loss of loved ones.”
Nigeria is ranked No. 13 on the 2012 Open Doors World Watch List of 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians. According to World Watch List, Nigeria had at least 300 martyrs in 2011, although the actual number could be doubled or tripled. That number is the most in any country although North Korea could have had more but information is hard to obtain due to the isolation of the communist state.
An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world’s most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our Website at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.
(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email [email protected])