Niger Churches Rebuilt Three Years After Incident, Christian Confidence Not

ICC Note

It has been three years since the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo incident on Paris, France. This incident led to riots and destruction in the West African nation of Niger. Over 70 churches were looted and destroyed, along with many Christian’s homes and property. Now, many of those churches have been rebuilt, though the Christian community is still suffering from the losses of those attacks. They also fear that since the attacks, tensions have continued to rise, with more hate speech and hostility towards the church. We pray for the safety of our brothers and sister in Niger. 

01/25/2018 Niger (WorldWatchMonitor) In Niger new buildings have emerged from the rubble of churches destroyed three years ago in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

On the weekend of 16-17 January, 2015, more than 70 churches were ransacked by hundreds of angry Islamists, who were said to be angered at the presence of Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou in Paris, along with five other African heads of state.

An issue of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, showing the prophet Muhammad weeping, reinforced this anger and triggered the protest, which quickly turned into anti-Christian violence.

Three years on, most of the destroyed churches have been rebuilt and joy and celebration has replaced sorrow and anger among Niger’s tiny Christian population.

Pastor Samaila Labo lost his belongings during the violence. He also witnessed the destruction of his church, ‘EERN Boukoki 2’, one of the largest in Niger’s capital, Niamey.

Speaking to World Watch Monitor, he expressed his gratitude to God at his church being rebuilt.

“The Lord has torn up what is old and has given us something new,” he said. “Those who destroyed our buildings may have been expecting to silence the voice of Christians, but they have failed. Perhaps by doing so, they wanted to send a strong signal to the Church, that Christians are not wanted’’.

 

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