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Muslim Mobs Burn Down 288 Churches, Kill Hundreds in Nigeria

May 2, 2011 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)—On April 18, Kenneth Ngeumpa was eating his breakfast and getting ready to go to work in the metropolitan city of Kaduna when violence broke out. He watched in terror as a Muslim mob led by his neighbor approached his home shooting and calling for murder of his family.  

Ngeumpa and 12 members of his family narrowly escaped from the attackers by fleeing through the back door of their home before the mob set the house on fire, burning their entire property to the ground. 

Ngeumpa was lucky to escape with his life.  Many other Christians were not so lucky. Muslim attackers have killed hundreds in the attacks that began on April 18. ICC source travelled to the towns of Zonkwa and Kafanchan in Kaduna, where more than 300 people, mostly Christians, were massacred. It is impossible to know the exact number of victims because the Nigerian officials quickly conducted a mass burial of the victims in order to prevent any revenge attacks and cool down the crisis. The Muslim attackers also burned down 288 churches and several Christian homes.

Christians living in ten of the 12 Muslim majority States in northern Nigeria have been affected by the violence that started in response to the election of Jonathan Goodluck, a Christian, as president of Nigeria. The rioters even destroyed the homes of many Muslims who supported President Jonathan Goodluck. In some areas, Christians fought back and killed their Muslim attackers.

Many in the mainstream media attributed the violence only to politics. There is no doubt that the election was the immediate cause for the attacks, but over the past two decades Nigerian Christians living in the northern part of the country have suffered several violent attacks. It is clearly denial of the truth for the media not to report the victimization of Christian minorities in northern Nigeria.

Unfortunately, many of the perpetrators will get away with murdering Christians and destroying their property.  Perpetrators of similar attacks in the past were not prosecuted.  According to 2010 report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, impunity is one of the causes for religious violence in Nigeria.

Unless the Nigerian authorities bring the perpetrators to justice, Christians in northern Nigeria will continue to be killed by the Muslim majority. The radical Islamist leaders seek excuses to bring their followers to a boil that time and time again has led to mass death and destruction. This is the sad state of affairs in northern Nigeria.