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Christians Leave Churches Empty in Nigeria

ICC Note:

Christians have stayed away from church in Nigeria after last weeks attacks on a communications tower in Kano. Many Christians fear that they will be attacked by Boko Haram while attending church over the Christmas holiday. For the past two years, Christians have been attacked while attending church over the Christmas holiday. Combined, over 80 people have been killed on Christmas by Boko Haram in Nigeria over the past two years. 

12/24/2012 Nigeria (NigerianTribune) - Following last Saturday’s suicide bombers’ attack on Airtel and MTN communications outfits in Kano, many Christians stayed away from attending Sunday service, just as some of them had resolved to reconsider their decision to travel down Southern part of the country to spent the Christmas and New Year celebration.

This is just as the Kano State chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Ransom Bello,  called on Christians in the state not to panic over Christmas and New Year celebration.

Bishop Bello urged them to come out en masse to celebrate, so as to shame the evil doers and to show “they are serving a living God, who had not created who He cannot take control of.”

At some major churches on Sunday, many seats were empty, following low turn-out of Christian worshippers.

However, there were heavy security operatives, which included Joint Task Force (JTF), soldiers, police and other security operatives manning the state.

Aside from the helicopter hovering round the state, armour tanks were stationed at strategic locations of the state capital, especially in Sabo-gari area, where there is concentration of churches.

Motorbike plying the areas were mandated to switch off their engines and push it away from the premises of the churches.

However, few Christian worshippers who attended  service, when interviewed by the Nigerian Tribune, said they attended the service with mixed feeling, saying they believed only God could ensure safety of life and property.

Meanwhile, pandemonium occurred at Badawa layout, on the outskirts of Kano metropolis  on Sunday evening, when an explosive planted in a pit exploded.

However, there was no casualty.

The incident occurred at 7.30 p.m, as residents scampered to safety.

All efforts to confirm the incident from the police authorities, at the time of filing this report, failed.

They, however, advised the terrorists to give peace a chance during the Christmas and New Year celebrations, noting that God could not be queried for creating the two religions-Christianity and Islam.

“We should be seen working together in peaceful co-existence. We are just like two brothers and why should we be against each other? The two religions are for peace, unity and love,” they said.

Meanwhile, Christians have been enjoined to use the occasion of the Christmas celebrations, to pray fervently for the country, so it can overcome major problems currently confronting her, including insecurity.

They have also been tasked to do same for our leaders, so they can continue to steer the ship of the country to a safe harbour.

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Hon. Muraina Ajibola, made the call in a message he sent to Christians throughout Nigeria, on the celebration of this year’s Christmas.

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