Churches Attacked amid #EndSARS Protests in Nigeria
Protests against police brutality in Nigeria that grew into generalized unrest over poor government took on a religious dimension this week with attacks on Christians and church buildings.
Following peaceful protests that began earlier this month against torture and killings by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) forces, counter-demonstrations against the #EndSARS protesters and shootings by security forces escalated tensions. On the 19th of October and the 20th of October Christian leaders in Plateau, Kano and Kogi states led prayer walks of thousands of Christians in appeals for peace.
In Kogi state on the 19th of October, following a prayer walk in Anyigba, Christians praying inside the Dunamis Christian Centre were attacked by suspected Muslim antagonists, an area resident said.
“A dozen pastors and more than 400 Christians were praying in the church when they were attacked,” told Friday Adah. “I watched in horror as violence was used against Christians in Anyigba town. A peaceful prayer walk seeking God’s help for our country, Nigeria, for God to restore peace and love, was suddenly met with undue force as Christians were beaten and shot at with guns by Muslim mobs.”
Injured in the assault were bishop David Sanda, pastor Emma Ibrahim, pastor Silas Edogbo and pastor Samson Ejila of Dunamis Church, and the Dunamis church building was damaged, Adah said.
On 19th of October near Jos, Plateau state, suspected Muslim agitators opposing church prayer walks damaged the building of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Bukuru, told area resident Esther Saleh. The building is located along the Jos-Bukuru highway in an area with a large Muslim population.
In Kano state on the 19th of October, an Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) building in the Sabon Gari area of the city of Kano was set ablaze by suspected Muslim assailants, told area resident Helen Johnson.
In Jos, Plateau state, suspected Muslim assailants on the 20th of October stoned the worship auditorium of the ECWA Good News Church, breaking windows, while a church program was underway, a local resident said. They also burned cars and broke into shops in the area.
In Abuja, suspected Muslim opponents of #EndSARS protesters set fire to a Pentecostal church building in the Dutse area of the capital city and killed three Christians, one identified as Tony Onome, told area resident Christiana Adamu.
“There were also attacks on Christians around the Apo area of Abuja, where about seven Christians were killed by these Muslims,” Adamu said.
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