More than 100 Christians have been killed in Jos, Nigeria, since Jan. 17, when violent riots broke out between the Christian and Muslim communities, according to VOM contacts.
The Voice of the Martyrs contacts reported that the violence was triggered by a Muslim attack on St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Nasarawa Gwong, in the Jos North Local Government Area. “It appears to the Christians here that elements inside the Nigerian
Muslim community actually prepare for events like this and then look for an incident which they can then escalate into a crisis. The intent is to drive Christians out of this area down to the south,” VOM contacts reported.
Church leaders said Muslim youths also attacked buildings belonging to the Christ Apostolic Church, Assemblies of God Church, three branches of the Church of Christ in Nigeria and the Evangelical Church of West Africa. On Jan. 18, authorities imposed a curfew, and the city is under the close control of Nigerian troops.
Hundreds of believers have reportedly been wounded. “We have been witnessing sporadic shootings in the last two days,” Rev. Chuwang Avou, secretary of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria told Compass Direct News a few days after the attacks began. “We see some residents shooting sporadically into the air. We have also seen individuals with machine guns on parade in the state.”
The Voice of the Martyrs has people on the ground in Nigeria assisting believers. VOM is providing medical assistance and other resources to those affected by the attacks. VOM has supported persecuted believers in Nigeria for more than 20 years. VOM also helps widows through the Family of Martyrs Fund and provides their children with free education. Pray that VOM contacts will be able to provide the spiritual encouragement and resources that believers in Nigeria need. Pray for peace and for the protection of believers.
Photos courtesy of Rev. Hassan John
Posted: January 26, 2010