Nigerian Pastor's Murder Prompts Increased Security

A northern, Muslim-majority state in Nigeria ramped up security on Sunday in response to the murder of a local pastor and his wife earlier in the week.

Some 200 police officers were deployed around the capital of Bauchi state, which has a history of sectarian violence, as investigation is underway, said Bauchi police spokesman Mohammed Baurau to Agence France Presse.

The charred bodies of Pentecostal Pastor Ishaya Kadah and his wife Selina were found Wednesday in Boto village, two days after they were kidnapped.

Locals alleged that Muslims from the village are responsible for the kidnapping and murder of the Christian couple.

"[A]s a body of Christ, we felt bad with what happened but as pastors we take it as a normal thing because one can die anywhere and this pastor and his wife died in active service to God and so we give all the glory back to God," said Bishop Musa Tula, Bauchi state Christian Association of Nigeria chairman, according to Lagos-based Daily Champion.

Tula said that though there is nothing Christians can do about the deaths, they can pray to God to bring justice to those responsible for the murder. The bishop also called on Christians to restrain from seeking revenge and furthering the sectarian violence in the state.

Nigeria is about evenly split between Muslim in the north and Christians in the south with minorities of both religions living where the other faith is dominant. Just last month, at least 100 Christians were killed during an attack on predominantly Christian villages in the Jos area by machete-wielding Muslim extremists. Ethnic conflict is understood to be a factor in the violence, which mainly took the lives of women and children.

In the case of Pastor Kadah and his wife, police have so far arrested eight suspects.