Violence in North-eastern Nigeria Increasing Again
After an initial lull in violence following the announcement of a state of emergency in three Northern Nigerian states, violence has been increasing over the past few months. Boko Haram attacked a secondary school dormitory in Yobe around 1 a.m. on Sunday. More than 40 students died. Although initial reports indicated that mostly Muslim students had died, Open Doors has learned that there may be some Christian students among them.
The attack came just after the government, promising protection. had urged schools in Yobe to re-open after earlier similar attacks. Earlier this month presumed Boko Haram fighters in Borno, Yobe and Maiduguri set up check points and fired at motorists and bystanders.
At least 10 Christians have died in these attacks, including a youth leader of an ECWA church in Maiduguri and a medical student. Open Doors has also received word that a pastor and his son were killed on Thursday night in Yobe. Their church was burned to the ground. One eye witness of Sunday’s attack in Yobe told Reuters, “They started gathering students into groups outside, and then they opened fire and killed one group and then moved onto the next group and killed them. It was so terrible.” President Goodluck Jonathan called the attack
“the creation of the devil.”
It came just a few days after the school re-opened following widespread closures after militants attacked Mamudo School outside Damaturu and killed 29 pupils and a teacher on July 6. Two weeks ago, the state commissioner for education, Mohammmed Lamin, urged all schools to re-open and promised protection from soldiers and police.
The renewed violence is creating uncertainty and fear among people,” reported an Open Doors worker. “It is intensifying an already explosive atmosphere as the government continues its battle against Boko Haram.” Nigeria is ranked No. 13 on the Open Doors 2013 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
Colombia – Murdered Priests Buried Amid Community Protests
Father Bernardo Echeverry, 62, and Father Hector Fabio Cabrera, 35, who ministered in San Sebastian Roman Catholic parish, Roldanillo village, Valle department, Colombia, were found murdered late on Sept. 27. Neighbors reported to police having seen two men running from the parish. Investigating officers found the priests’ bodies in the residence they shared near the church. According to police and media reports, two men broke into the residence while the priests were celebrating 8 p.m. Mass and awaited the priests with knives. The murderers fled with offerings, a computer and an iPad. Local authorities convened a security council meeting where Ubeimar Delgado, governor of Valle, linked the double murder to organized crime.
General Rodolfo Palomino, national police director, promised that his organization would not allow the snatching of this community’s most sacred members — its spiritual leaders. After the priests’ Monday funeral, Roldanillo residents peacefully marched to demand justice for the murderers.
In Medellín early on Sept. 28, disabled priest Luis Javier Sarrázola Úsuga was found stabbed to death in his residence in Manrique neighborhood. According to media reports, a woman bringing a meal to Sarrázola Úsuga entered his home, and saw an unidentified young man fleeing with a suitcase. The woman and neighbors found his body, which had been stabbed in the chest more than 30 times.
Sarrázola Úsuga , 48, operated a charity called by its acronym FUNEPALIS, or Educational Foundation for Peace and Social Freedom, which served the poor in Medellín’s Carambolas neighborhood. Some media reports state that Sarrázola Úsuga was affiliated with the Anglican church.
According to the Episcopal Conference, in the last 29 years in Colombia, 84 Roman Catholic priests and two bishops have been murdered. Open Doors Colombia notes that in the last year eight priests have been killed.
Categories: Christian persecution