At least ten Christians have been killed in Maiduguri, Nigeria recently according to a report by International Christian Concern (ICC).
The killings are said to have been committed by radical Islamic group Boko Haram who is exercising an ongoing “silent killing” of Christians in Nigeria, according to a Christian leader who has asked to be kept anonymous.
“Boko Haram is seeking to eliminate Christianity because they want Islamic (Sharia) law,” said the anonymous local church leader in an interview with ICC. “They don’t want to see anything Christian in the northern states [of Nigeria]. That is why churches are being persecuted and Muslims who don’t follow the [hardline teachings of] Boko Haram are also persecuted.”
Many Christians in Maiduguri are living in fear of Boko Haram since the group’s goal seems to be eliminating Christianity from the area. Most believers have fled the city and out of the ones that remain some have felt the need to suspend their services to avoid further persecution from the group.
The Boko Haram has also targeted the Nigerian government recently who responded by deploying security forces to quell the violence caused by the radical Islamic group. However, the government was criticized by human rights groups for using excessive force and indiscriminately killing civilians to bring order to the situation.
According to the anonymous church leader, the few Christians that are left in the city are praying and fasting hoping God will intervene. He also stated how other believers could help in the interview.
“They can pray for their fellow Christian brothers and sisters in Maiduguri. [We also] ask for assistance in the rebuilding of churches that have been burned down since 2006. The government has not compensated for the loss of Christians, but it has compensated for losses that Muslims suffered [at the hands of radical Islamists],” he said.
Jonathan Racho, the ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa feels that the deployment of Nigerian forces will help to protect innocent civilians from Boko Haram, and has also supported the idea for the establishment of a committee to investigate Boko Haram.
“We call upon the committee to look into the plight of the victims and ensure that the perpetrators of the violence are brought to justice,” said Racho.