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Christian communities devastated in Nigeria

May 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Nigeria, Persecution, World

A charred cross lies in the ruins of a Women’s Fellowship Store

A charred cross lies in the ruins of a Women’s Fellowship Store

A pastor who lost his wife and three children in a brutal assault by Muslim extremists on a Nigerian village says he “will never forsake Christ”. Pastor James Musa Rike comforted his wife, Dune James Rike (35), with the hope of the Gospel as she lay dying after being shot and slashed with a machete during the assault on Kurum village, near Bogoro, Bauchi state, on 4 May. The Muslim assailants also killed three of the couple’s five children, Sum, Faith and baby Fyali.

He said: I knew my wife would not last long, and the only thing I did was to encourage her to hold on to her faith in Jesus. The attackers killed 12 other Christians in the village and set more than 20 houses ablaze. This was just one in a series of attacks on Christian communities following the re-election of Christian President Goodluck Jonathan, who defeated Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim candidate from the North, in the 16 April poll. The latter’s supporters went on the rampage, claiming that the poll was rigged, though international observers called this election the fairest in decades.

Details about the extent of the damage are still coming in, but so far it has been confirmed by our partners in the country that 194 churches have been burnt or destroyed, over 1,200 houses have been destroyed and 15,000 people have been displaced. Barnabas Fund is grateful for the donations of our supporters that have enabled us to send relief to Christian victims of the violence in Nigeria.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said: Christian communities in Nigeria have, once again, been devastated by co-ordinated and calculated attacks by Muslim rioters. Many have lost loved ones, homes and businesses; they will need our continued support and prayers as they attempt to rebuild their lives. Local partners, who visited the northern town of Malumfashi, Katsina state, and took photos of churches, school buildings, homes, vehicles, businesses and shops belonging to Christians that were ransacked and torched.

– Barnabas Fund

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