Nigeria (OneNewsNow – 1/24/2012) A Christian leader in Nigeria believes the murder of more than 80 Christians is just the beginning of a campaign of religious cleansing in the North.
Boko Haram, a jihadist terrorist organization, is taking credit for killing the Christians and for murdering moderate Muslims. Jonathan Racho of International Christian Concern (ICC) tells OneNewsNow Pastor Ayo, who serves as president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, is calling on the government to take strong measures to protect Christians in the predominantly Muslim North.
“The church leader also pointed out that there are people within the Nigerian government, the Nigerian security, who have collaborated with Boko Haram, and that makes it very hard for the government to protect its own population,” Racho laments.
Though the Nigerian government has promised Christians they will be protected, the ICC spokesman says those promises have proved empty in the past.
“That has created a situation where Christians don’t trust the government anymore for their protection and their property, and the church. So the church leader actually in Nigeria called upon Christians to defend themselves from the ongoing progrom,” he explains.
In fact, there are now incidents in the predominantly Christian South, in which Christians have attacked mosques and Muslims.
Boko Haram says it wants to establish a state based on Sharia, or Muslim, law and has ordered Christians to leave northern Nigeria, while urging Muslims in the south to move to northern regions. The violence is a major challenge for Nigeria’s President Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian and southerner, has come under increased pressure to speed up protection for Christians.
Nigeria is 160 million people are roughly equally divided between a mainly Muslim north and a largely Christian and animist south, according to several estimates.