Nigeria: Northern Church Survives Arson By Muslims

Dawakin Kudu, Nigeria – The Kano state government has refused to grant approval to a church in this northern Nigerian town for 28 years, further emboldening area Muslims to attack it numerous times, the pastor said. Since Christmas 2006, said pastor Jacob Bako of the local Evangelical Church of Christ in Nigeria, local Muslims have set fire to the congregation’s makeshift worship place three times. Due to the church’s lack of official permission, its worship place is located in an abandoned housing project that had been under construction. On several occasions Muslims have gone to the site to write hate messages against Christians on the walls of the building, he said; they have also defecated at the site and spread the mess on the structure, he said. “I remember that on the Christmas day of 2006, Muslims went to the building the previous night and messed the place before burning down the thatched roof,” Bako said. “We had to clean up the mess before holding worship service on that day. Also, in April and in June 2007, Muslims again burned the place. These acts of arson on the building have become a common practice here against us.”