Skip to content

Archive site notice

You are viewing an archived copy of Christian Concern's website. Some features are disabled and pages may not display properly.

To view our current site, please visit

Further religious cleansing in Nigeria

Printer-friendly version

Another Islamist attack on a church in Jos, Nigeria, has left between 10 and 20 Christians dead and many more wounded.

On 11 March two men approached Saint Finbarr’s Catholic Church in Rayfield in Jos and then detonated their bomb outside after failing to get into the church.

An eye-witness reported:

“One of the bombers appeared to have recognised someone in the church premises; he managed to draw the man’s attention and asked why he was at the church at this time. While the conversation was going on, I heard a loud sound. When I rushed to the gate I saw all the people at the gate dead except my father in-law Emmanuel Ndat Kanke who survived with burns all over his body, his skin peeled off.”

The attack comes two weeks after a car bomb attack on the Church of Christ that killed three people and wounded 38 others. Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack. In January the group gave Christians three days to leave Northern Nigeria or suffer reprisals.

Islam in Nigeria

Jos lies on the physical fault-line of the division between Islam and Christianity in Nigeria. The north of Nigeria is predominantly Muslim, while the south is predominantly Christian. Many fear that these attacks demonstrate a renewed effort by Muslim extremists to make Islam the dominant religion throughout Nigeria.

Since 1999, starting with Zamfara, twelve of the northern Nigerian states have implemented sharia law, and this has coincided with these regular, violent outbreaks.

Christian Persecution

The Stefanos Foundation, which monitors levels of violent persecution in Nigeria and elsewhere, was told that soldiers shot several Christians as they rushed to the scene to look for their loved ones.

Mark Libdo, programme coordinator at the Stefanos Foundation, said:

”It is surprising that despite the clear continuing attacks targeting Christians in their worship places, reports from Nigeria Ministry of Defence seeks to blame it on Christians themselves, even when men of the deadly Islamic Sect, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for it.”

He told CNN: “Christians have been affected, their worship areas have been burnt, and all their businesses have been destroyed.”


Christian Concern: International Persecution

Barnabas Fund

Love Jos Campaign