There have been calls for the Nigerian government to intervene after 17 Christians were killed last week in an attack by Muslims.
Muslims went on the rampage in the village of Kurum, Bauchi State, in the predominantly Muslim north. Several Christian homes were burned down in the raid. The dead included the wife and three children of a pastor.
The general secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Bauchi State, the Rev. Turbe Ngodem, told International Christian Concern: “It is not right for anyone to kill another person. Life is precious and a gift from God."
“Since 1999 in Bauchi State, several Christians have been killed but no one has been brought before justice," he added. "The government has to intervene. The government has to be fair to all its citizens.”
Northern Nigeria has been plagued by sectarian violence in recent years. The re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, last month has triggered another round of violence in which hundreds have reportedly been killed.
According to the Christian Association of Nigeria, 600 Christians were killed and more than 300 churches were burned across northern Nigeria in the immediate aftermath of the election.
International Christian Concern’s regional manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho, called for greater protection for Christians.
“We are extremely concerned with this latest killing of Christians by Muslim attackers,” he said. “We once again urge Nigerian officials to prevent the bloodshed of innocent Christians in northern Nigeria.
“Nigeria must end impunity for the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.”