The president of the Christian Association of Nigeria has suggested that Muslim extremists, specifically al-Qaida-linked Boko Haram, are not simply trying to push Christians out of the mostly-Muslim northern areas, but are actually using violence in an effort to expel believers from the country altogether.
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Nigeria has been suffering from religious violence for years, with attacks often occurring during the Christmas season. At least three dozen people were killed in a string of bombings last month. Since December, more than 80 Christians have been killed by radical Muslims, according to the International Christian Concern (ICC), an advocacy group. In addition, the violence has also spread to southern Nigeria, where Muslims and their places of worship have been attacked in apparent retaliation for the killing of Christians in the north.
Jerry Dykstra, Media Relations Director at Open Doors USA, told CP Tuesday that Christians have been feeling increased pressure to take revenge. His organization fights Christian persecution worldwide.
"The pastors there have tried to quiet that especially among the young people. Unfortunately, Christians have retaliated. I guess it's a matter of what would you do if your church was attacked and your family was murdered?" he said.
Most recently, a mosque and an Islamic school were burned down in the southern Nigerian city of Benin on Jan. 10. Five people were reportedly killed and six were injured in violence in the city, but reports have not specified the identities of the victims.
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, CAN's president, decried the Nigerian government's failure to protect Christians from attacks and accused some security agents of taking sides.
Source: Christian Post | Luiza Oleszczuk