From Bishop Ben Kwashi in Jos, Nigeria, on recent Muslim violence against Christians in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

Scene from January Violence in Jos

Scene from January Violence in Jos

Please bear in mind that this harrowing letter comes from Bishop Ben Kwashi, who is “on the ground” in Jos, Nigeria. If you need to catch up on recent events from Jos, then click; here, and here.

Anglican Mainstream:-

People were in deep sleep and woken up by about three this morning to meet with death. Men women children and pregnancies were all littered on the road as they were  killed as they were probably fleeing to God knows where. This is a premeditated killing in the worst way. Please continue in prayers for us. The cost of being a Christian is rising by the day.

+ben

Bloody heartrending…

Here is a report from the LA Times today:-

Nigeria massacre leaves more than 120 dead – Witnesses say Muslim herdsmen armed with guns and machetes attacked three Christian villages outside Jos. The violence may have been in revenge for an attack last month.

Reporting from Kano, Nigeria – The attacks came in the night, as the villagers slept. Hundreds of Muslim herdsmen armed with guns and machetes swooped down on three Christian villages outside Jos in central Nigeria, killing more than 120 people early Sunday, according to witnesses.

There were contradictory reports on the casualties. Some said more than 120 were killed, while others put the number at about 200.

The massacre in volatile Plateau state — long beset with ethnic-religious violence — was apparently a revenge attack. Nomadic Fulani herdsmen had accused a group of local indigenous Christians — Berom people — of attacking their camp late last month, killing four people and stealing about 200 cattle.

In the latest violence, which appeared unrelated to national sectarian political frictions, hundreds of herdsmen launched coordinated attacks about 3 a.m. on three villages, Dogo Nahawa, Ratsat and Zot, about six miles south of Jos.

The herdsmen charged the villages, firing in the air, then cut down villagers as they fled their huts, witnesses said.

“Some people, whom we believed to be pastoralists, attacked three villages including our own with machetes, killing and burning people,” said Fidelis Tawkek of Dogo Nahawa in a phone interview. “They burned down most of the houses. They killed many women and children.

“They escaped after the attack. Up to this moment, houses are still burning and barns are smoldering.”

Jos and the surrounding areas had seen a series of violent attacks in January, which left more than 320 dead, police figures show.

Plateau state is on the dividing line between Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north and the mainly Christian south, but the recurrent violent outbreaks have as much to do with bitter rivalry between the indigenous Christian Beroms and Muslim Hausas who came later, settling in Jos about a century ago.

The city lives on a knife’s edge, with friction between the Christians and Muslims who compete for jobs, business, land and resources. Similar tensions radiate throughout the state: Thousands have died in ethnic-religious violence in Plateau state in the last decade.

Sunday’s violence — allegedly involving the nomadic Fulani herdsmen — was slightly different. Because it was said to involve nomads, who reportedly fled after the attack, it was probably not related to the usual flare-ups resulting from the bitterness between the Christians and Hausa Muslims in the Jos area.

But the violence underscores the Muslim-Christian rivalry that permeates Nigerian political and economic life. The most recent example has been the bitter power struggle in the ruling People’s Democratic Party between southern Christians and northern Muslims over the presidency, following the illness of President Umaru Yar’Adua, a Muslim.

The country’s political stability hinges on a ruling party deal that the Muslim north and Christian south should rotate power: eight years to the north and eight to the south. The jostling over the presidency was resolved when the PDP affirmed that a Muslim northerner would rule until 2015.

On Sunday, acting President Goodluck Jonathan placed security forces in Plateau state on alert and ordered them to track and arrest the killers.

UPDATE: The BBC report has upped the number of murdered to 500.

BBC

Some 500 people were killed in Sunday’s revenge attack after religious clashes near the Nigerian city of Jos, local officials say.

The figure had previously been put at about 100 – it is always difficult to get accurate figures for such clashes in Nigeria.

Officials say two mainly Christian villages near Jos were attacked from nearby hills by people with machetes.

There is a long history of local tension between Muslims and Christians.

The attacks are said to have been in revenge for the killing of several hundred people in January.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan has put security forces on alert to stop the flow of weapons to the area.

Many of the dead in the villages of Zot and Dogo-Nahawa are reported to be women and children.

Jos lies between the mainly Muslim north of Nigeria and its largely Christian south.

Some further Internet links on this:-

Muslims slaughter hundreds of Christians in Nigeria (Catholic Culture)

Violence Erupts in Nigeria’s State of Jos (Vatican Radio)

Nigeria: Radical Islam and the challenge of dialogue (ACN News)

400 Killed in Fresh Jos Crisis (Lagos Daily Champion)

If you have stumbled onto this blog and are not a Christian, get yourself a hot drink, pull up a comfy chair and then tuck into the following article written by one of the best in the business:- All Of Grace by Charles Spurgeon

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.