Nigeria: The Churches Are Burning


December 1, 2011:  Islamic terror group Boko Haram claimed that its recent attacks in the northeast were a protest against government arrests of its members. The government insists that it has Boko Haram on the run, yet some armed members of the group are still operating. Boko Haram wants to drive all non-Moslems out of northern Nigeria and turn the place into a religious dictatorship. Christians, and many northern Moslems, object to this plan. They do, however, appreciate Boko Haram efforts to go after corrupt politicians.

In the Niger River Delta, the government has bought peace, by spending $10 million a month to pay young men not to attack the oil companies and government facilities. Over 23,000 men are receiving $410 a month to keep the peace. But some of them have gone back to criminal activities, and the widespread violence is expected to return. Meanwhile, the government considers the payments a bargain. In the last full year of violence (2008), gang activity cost over $23 billion in damage and lost oil revenue. But there is still a lot of popular anger in the Delta at the oil companies and corrupt government officials.

November 26, 2011: Boko Haram destroyed eight churches and killed four people after invading the northeastern town of Geidam (near the Niger border) for several hours. The Islamic terrorists also destroyed a police station and set fire to several businesses. A smaller attack was made in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.

November 25, 2011: Outside the central Nigerian city of Jos, Moslem and Christian tribes clashed again, leaving at least fifteen dead. Two churches and an Islamic school were destroyed, along with twenty other buildings. Over sixty people were arrested.

Boko Haram denied that recent arrests of politicians, accused of working with Boko Haram, had anything to do with them. Boko Haram insisted that they had no affiliations with political parties, and those men recently arrested were not, as some claimed, members of Boko Haram.