Nigeria: Eleven churches ruined in ‘Boko Haram’ chaos

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Nigeria: Eleven churches ruined in ‘Boko Haram’ chaos

Post  palmtree on Thu 06 Aug 2009, 10:47 am

Two Catholic churches were among 11 that were extensively damaged last week in this northeastern Nigerian town during clashes between security forces and a fundamentalist Muslim sect, reports CISA.

Maiduguri is the stronghold of Boko Haram, a sect that opposes Western education and other values. More than 700 people were killed in a five-day uprising by the sect across northern Nigeria. The crisis ended on Thursday with the capture and killing of sect leader Muhamed Yusuf, 39.

Fr Heladuwa John William, the Diocesan Administrator of Maiduguri, said in a statement that the sect planned the mayhem at a meeting on the July 19. “This meeting, held in an open place around the Railway Terminus in Maiduguri, is what led to the five day attack on innocent citizens and properties.”

The chaos left Maiduguri town in complete disorder, with bodies of the dead strewn on the streets, the priest said. Police stations were targeted for attack.

Fr Heladuwa gave the names of the destroyed Catholic churches as St Joseph Gamboru Ngala and St. Michael Railway. The latter church was recently rebuilt and commissioned after similar riots in February 2006. It was completely burnt down. The other nine places of worship were evangelical churches.

“Is the taking of human lives, destruction of properties and confusion a thing of religion? Which God permits these?” Fr Heladuwa wondered.

He disagreed with the view that last week’s crisis was not a religious one, pointing out that no mosque was reported damaged.

“Those who are badly affected are the Christians, not even the government. Since it is a fact that Christians, particularly of the Catholic Church, are never compensated for anything, they especially will be left alone to suffer their loss and mourn their dead.”

Nigeria: Eleven churches ruined in ‘Boko Haram’ сhaos

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