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Christians In Pakistan and Nigeria Fear Backlash Following bin Laden’s Killing 

May 3, 2011 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)-As the world reacts to the news of the killing of Osama bin Laden by US special forces, Christians minorities in Muslim countries are fearful of reprisal attacks for the killing.

In Pakistan, the Christian community has been apprehensive after an Islamic radical group, Tehreek-Taliban Pakistan, issued a statement threatening attacks to retaliate for the killing of bin Laden.

The Anglican Bishop of Gojra, John Samuel, described the anxiety of the Christians when he told ICC that “due to the perception that US is a Christian country, the Christians in Pakistan have been under a major threat and have even been attacked [in the past]. Due to this, Christians have been very apprehensive [of being attacked.]”

There is similar climate of fear among Christians in the northern Nigeria. On May 2, hundreds of Muslims in the northern Nigeria city of Kaduna staged a protest denouncing the killing of bin Laden. Many Christians fled to military barracks and police stations seeking protection.

Reverend Murpala Bambora, pastor of an evangelical church in Kanu, explained to ICC that “[many Christians are fleeing] because Muslims in the past have reacted with the killing of Christians and the destruction of their properties when there is problem affecting Muslims somewhere else. When there is a problem against the Muslim community elsewhere, they, [the Muslims in northern Nigeria], want to retaliate on Christians in [Nigeria].”

The majority of the Christians who ran to the military barracks and police stations have returned to their homes after the military was deployed to prevent an eruption of violence. But there are still several Christians remaining in the barracks, choosing not to take any chance until the situation calms down.

Christian minorities living in Muslim countries are seen as soft targets. Muslim radicals use every available opportunity to incite violence against Christians. It is high time for the international community to recognize the precarious situation of the Christian minorities in Islamic countries and ensure their protection.