Nigerians fear more church attacks

2011-12-27 08:40

Madalla - Women returned to clean the blood from St Theresa Catholic Church on Monday and one man wept uncontrollably amid its debris as a Nigerian Christian association demanded protection for its churches.

At least 35 people died at St Theresa and dozens more were wounded as radical Muslim militants launched co-ordinated attacks across Africa's most populous nation within hours of one another. Four more people were killed in other violence blamed on the group known as Boko Haram.

Crowds gathered among the burned-out cars in the church's dirt parking lot on Monday, angry over the attack and fearful that the group will target more of their places of worship.

It was the second year in a row that the extremists seeking to install Islamic Shariah law across the country of 160 million staged such attacks. Last year, a series of bombings on Christmas Eve killed 32 people in Nigeria.

Rev Father Christopher Jataudarde told The Associated Press that Sunday's blast happened as church officials gave parishioners white powder as part of a tradition celebrating the birth of Christ. Some already had left the church at the time of the bombing, causing the massive casualties.

In the ensuing chaos, a mortally wounded man had cradled his wounded stomach and begged a priest for religious atonement. "Father, pray for me. I will not survive," he said.

At least 52 people were wounded in the blast, said Slaku Luguard, a coordinator with Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency. Victims filled the cement floors of a nearby government hospital, some crying in pools of their own blood.

Acts of terror

Pope Benedict XVI denounced the bombing at his post-Christmas blessing on Monday, urging people to pray for the victims and Nigeria's Christian community.

"In this moment, I want to repeat once again with force: Violence is a path that leads only to pain, destruction and death. Respect, reconciliation and love are the only path to peace," he said.

The UN Security Council condemned the attacks "in the strongest terms" and called for the perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors "of these reprehensible acts" to be brought to justice.

The African Union also condemned the attacks and pledged to support Nigeria in its fight against terrorism.

"Boko Haram's continued acts of terror and cruelty and absolute disregard for human life cannot be justified by any religion or faith," said a statement attributed to AU commission chairman Jean Ping.

On Sunday, a bomb also exploded amid gunfire in the central Nigeria city of Jos and a suicide car bomber attacked the military in the nation's northeast. Three people died in those assaults.

After the bombings, a Boko Haram spokesperson using the nom de guerre Abul-Qaqa claimed responsibility for the attacks in an interview with The Daily Trust, the newspaper of record across Nigeria's Muslim north. The sect has used the newspaper in the past to communicate with the public.

"There will never be peace until our demands are met," the newspaper quoted the spokesman as saying. "We want all our brothers who have been incarcerated to be released; we want full implementation of the Sharia system and we want democracy and the constitution to be suspended."

  • Anthony - 2011-12-27 08:59

    do christians go around blowing up mosques?

      Jay - 2011-12-27 09:08

      You took the words out of my mouth! only problem with that statement is what we did in the name of Christianity during the Crusades when 100's of thousands if not millions died under "christian" blades! However this is a modern society and these extreme Islamic Militants pose a definite danger to our way of life.

      Anthony - 2011-12-27 09:32

      Agree but does that mean Christians should start the Crusades again just for protection against there unholy acts. Maybe or maybe not

      Garth - 2011-12-27 10:20

      In reply to Anthony - yes they do. Research, its called do the research before committing name to paper.

      Riaad - 2011-12-27 11:46

      @Anthony "...but does that mean Christians should start the Crusades again..." It has begun already, and that's the problem - long before 911 (which the CIA staged themselves anyway) - with the first Gulf War. And this is the whole reason why extremist groups like Boko Haram will continue getting new recruits - the realisation that the Christian USA does not intend leaving the Muslims alone. If the US could change its foreign policy (which they won't because Israel controls the US through the AIPAC lobby) then maybe Muslim moderates would be more willing and determined to eliminate evil extremists like Boko Haram. The US policy of blind "pre-emptive strikes" is anything but Christian. Just as moderate Christians want moderate Muslims to condemn Boko Haram and other terrorists, we reasonably expect Christians to condemn the state terrorism of the US and its allies. Otherwise, I'm afraid Armageddon is coming ...

      Garth - 2011-12-27 12:11

      Hey Riaad, conspiracy theorise much?

      emile.eley - 2011-12-27 12:59

      Riaad the Americans, for the most part, are anything but Christian.

      Garth - 2011-12-27 14:22

      e.e - what are you smoking? The americans, anything but christian? Jeez boy/girl it is very easy - you have a computer in front of you, right? Google it! I am betting that you will find that over 70% are christians.

      Anthony - 2011-12-27 14:40

      riaad do you want a war? How old are you? war wont solve anything. blowing up a church, mosgue, etc is the lowest from of cowardise a man can active. Now why would you want that? NO you will not get seven virgins NO you will not go to heaven.

      Ask - 2011-12-27 14:47

      @Anthony - Boet don't threaten Riaad; he is trying to educate you, take the lesson gracefully and move on; this is the NEW SA... you are right, Riaad will not get 7 virgins because no Christian virgins are left... too bad... Insult for insult...

      Anthony - 2011-12-27 15:18

      @ask What threat are you talking about? Are you reading my blog, all I said was blowing up a church,mosque,etc is cowardly do you see a threat in that? what you on about?

  • Carlos - 2011-12-27 09:06

    Zuma condemns... Eh Eh... get ready for them here. Get ready for this unholy murderous thing everywhere. From immemorial times this and other "faiths" have been the bane of Humanity. Countless crimes, persecutions, enslavements and wars can be laid at the door of these excluding so called "religions"... Comunism was nothing, this is the menace...

  • Garth - 2011-12-27 10:19

    `we want full implementation of the Sharia system and we want democracy . . .', come on, you must choose, one or the other. That is like asking for an honest government and then voting for the anc. `. . . and the constitution to be suspended."' Now you sound like a religious nut . . . oh, you are! `boko haram' - education outside of islam is a sin. That's the problem with religious people: they all think that theirs is the one, the only, the truth to banish all others. Save the world - banish the religious and all of their trappings to Mars.

      Ask - 2011-12-27 14:38

      @Garth - Firstly, I resent your implication towards the ANC... if it any comfort to you; they are a million times better than the previous Apartheid government - which was Christian based - I have no problem if the ANC steals... I have a problem when they get caught.. You guys were doing the same thing for three hundred years... I have never met so many corrupt NP 'Afrikaners' at SARS my GOD it was shameful during your glory years (Apartheid). So don't come with your holier than thou attitude. Secondly; what do you know about Nigerian politics? or the demographics of that region... ? In my opinion... 'boko haram' are idiots and should be treated with contempt. I wish they are caught and executed... If you have a solution for the Nigerian corruption problem, then perhaps you should voice it... I reckon; if you were a black person in SA during the OLD regime; you would pray for ANY regime change... I think something similar is happening in Nigeria.

      Anthony - 2011-12-27 15:04

      @ask were do you reside? I take it not in SA. This NEW regime does not give a dame about there own people in this country of OURS "everbody encluded" YES they would rather steal money than feed the poor, build them houses, educate them, create jobs,give them get out of jail free cards, Now why would YOU want that?

  • swonas - 2011-12-27 11:35

    wonder where are the TV Bishops from Nigeria that SA people are so crazy about when the church in their country is in such a state? do they have the prince of peace or its somebody else in their hearts, if it was the Prince of Peace, they would not do this!

  • Anthony - 2011-12-27 15:24

    @ask who said anything about "moslim, christian virgins" again what you on about? What are you trying to say?

      Riaad - 2011-12-27 15:43

      Anthony, I think ASK misunderstood your light-hearted comment. But to respond, women have been promised as one of the favours in Heaven to all obedient Muslim males. It has nothing to do with blowing yourself up, LoL. And why shouldn't it be so when just about everyone is fornicating and sleeping with any woman or man they can get? Just wear a condom, they claim. A pious Muslim only sleeps with his wife and so will deserve the Heavenly reward for his chastity, of many Heavenly women.

  • Anthony - 2011-12-27 15:30

    @ask you carry one heavy chip. you need help.

      Ask - 2011-12-29 18:12

      @Anthony - So you think I carry a heavy chip... would you like to help me carry it...? I don't know what you and Riaad have going... I would like to know what you implied by your statements above about the 7 virgins... Boet you can check ANY of my posts - I only insult when insulted... if you or anyone insinuates, with the intent of insulting a person's religion and particularly when your insults in no way relates to the topic; then it leave me to the conclusion that you and the 'usual suspects' use these opportunities to insult the Islamic faith etc... I take offence to it and react with equal vulgarity... You would also like to know where I reside; Cape Town; currently overseas on holiday.

  • phinda.buthelezi - 2011-12-28 07:34

    They kill in the name of God. Shame, just like the Christians do. What ever happened to "Thou shall not kill".

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