Church in Niger Destroyed Because Sheikh Arrested by Muslim Government

06/26/2019 Niger (International Christian Concern) – An Islamic mob burned down a church and destroyed a pastor’s car on June 15 after Sheikh Rayadoune was arrested. The sheikh is an imam in Maradi, and was arrested for criticizing a proposed measure that he believed would impose regulations on worship. Following the arrest, a group of young Muslims started rioting. They built barricades in the streets of Zaria district, burned tires, and attacked the Assembly of God church in the Zaria district of Maradi.

The Sheikh was released the next day, and had even told his followers before his release that he was being treated fairly by police. He later explained that he had misunderstood the proposed new law, and that it would not actually impede worship.

Sadly, despite the fact the Niger is a vastly majority Muslim nation, and that it is controlled completely by Muslims, Christians were targeted yet again. The Christian community is Niger is very small and has no power, yet they are targeted when something happens to disturb the local Muslim population. In 2015, after the Charlie Hebdo incident, more than 100 churches were destroyed in Niger, again despite the fact that none of these churches were involved. Niger is generally a peaceful nation, but it has become clear that Christians are seen as second class citizens who will be attacked for any reason. Please pray for their safety and security.

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