Islamic Militants Slaughter 49 Christians in Raid

Nigeria 26th February 2004

Plateau State: Some 49 Christians were massacred by Islamic militants in a raid on the Christian town of Yelwa on Tuesday 24 February.

Plateau Police Commissioner Innocent Ilozuoke told reporters how most of the Christian victims had been shot as they ran to a church desperately seeking refuge. The attackers are thought to have mainly been ethnic Fulani Muslims. Local security sources indicate that the merciless guerrilla tactics used in the assault suggest Islamist fighters from Chad and Niger may also have been involved. Police and army units have been sent to the town and order has now been restored.

Local Christians in Plateau State have suffered repeated attacks from ethnic Hausa/Fulani Muslim settlers since September 2001. Hundreds have been killed in the violence. Islamic militants from Chad, Niger and other countries outside of Nigeria have repeatedly been involved. Local Christians believe militant elements within the Muslim community are working to a strategy to drive out Christians and Islamise the whole state.

Pray

  • Pray for healing, comfort, love, blessing and support for all those who have been injured or lost loved ones in this latest attack and for the whole traumatised community.
  • Pray for protection for Christian towns and villages, that no further such attacks will take place and that the plans of those who would unleash such violence will be frustrated.
  • Pray that Christians will have the courage, strength and grace to turn the other cheek in the face of such aggression rather than respond with violence, which tragically has often been the case in Nigeria.
  • Finally pray for the perpetrators of this brutal attack. Ask that the Lord will change their hearts and open their eyes leading them to repentance and faith in Him.
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