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Update: Islamic Extremists Kill Three Pastors, Raze Twenty Churches in Nigeria

Washington , D.C. (August 6, 2009) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has received additional details on attacks by Islamic extremists against Christians and churches in Maiduguri , Nigeria . ICC first reported this story on July 29 (“Islamic Extremists Kill Pastor, Raze Churches in Nigeria ”). We have now learned that the Islamists killed 12 Christians, including three pastors, and razed twenty churches.

Sabo Yakubu, pastor of a Church of Christ congregation in Nigeria , Rev. Sylvester O. Akpan, pastor with National Evangelical Mission, and Rev. George Orji, pastor with Good News of Christ Church, were killed by members of an Islamic extremist group known as Boko Haram (which means “education is prohibited”). The group opposes Western education and fights to impose Sharia law throughout Nigeria , including areas that are majority Christian.

The Islamists also razed churches including: Deeper Life Bible Church, St Joseph ‘s Catholic Church, St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Church of the Brethren, Church of Christ in Nigeria , the National Evangelical Mission, Life Church , the Charismatic Revival Ministries Watchman (Lord’s Chosen), Elijah Apostolic Church , the Good News of Christ Church, and the Celestial Church of Christ.

Mohammed Yusuf, the Islamic sect leader, who initially said their targets were government property and security agencies, later changed and started setting ablaze churches and killing pastors who had nothing to do with their activities,” said Rev. Yuguda Zubagai Ndurvuwa in a statement quoted by the Guardian. Rev. Ndurvuwa is the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria.

Boko Haram started the attacks on July 26 in Bauchi state. The violence later spread to the northern Nigerian states of Borno, Kano , and Yobe. Seven hundred people including police, Islamic militants, and civilians, were killed, and twenty church buildings worth an estimated $966,962 were demolished.

Nigerian security officers have captured or killed some leading members of the group including Mohammed Yusuf, the group’s leader, who was killed while in police custody. But the group, which styled itself after Afghanistan ’s Taliban, is still believed to have over half a million followers in Nigeria .

ICC asks all concerned parties to sign a petition that calls upon Nigerian officials to avert similar violence from erupting, bring the perpetrators of such attacks to justice, and compensate the victims of the violence. The petition can be found at /suffering/petitions.php.

Please call Nigerian officials in your country and ask them to compensate churches for destroyed properties, rehabilitate victims of the attacks, bring the perpetrators of the violence to justice and take reasonable measures to prevent the recurrence of similar violence in northern Nigeria .

Nigerian Embassies:

Country

Phone

Fax

Email

USA

(202) 986-8400

(202)362-6541

UK

0207 839 1244

0207 839 8746

Canada

(613) 236-0521/3

(613) 236-0529

[email protected]

Germany

+49-(030) 21230

+49-(030) 21230212

[email protected]