Renewed religious violence in Northern Nigeria

Violence has broken out again in Northern Nigeria where Muslims are the majority, but there is a significant Christian minority including the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

Voice of America reports:

Residents say Muslim youths attacked Christians and burned churches in reprisals over the burning of two mosques overnight in the city. Muslims blamed the fires on Christians.

According to the Sun News:

No fewer than four persons were reportedly killed and property worth millions of naira destroyed following religious violence that broke out in the Morocco area of Bauchi metropolis in the early hours of Saturday.

Thousands of displaced persons have taken refuge in the Shadawanka barracks and other areas still considered safe. Governor Isa Yuguda, in a statewide broadcast, expressed shock over the incident, describing it as most unfortunate.

Reacting to the crisis, chairman of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Musa Tula, called on Christians in the state to remain calm and continue to pray to God to avert future occurrence. Tula, who is bishop of the Anglican Communion, Bauchi Diocese, consoled all those who might have lost one thing or the other, saying that they should leave everything to God and go about their normal and legitimate duties as government had assured that it would do everything possible to protect lives and properties of the people of the state.

Speaking on behalf of the Muslim Ummah, the Chief Imam of the ATBU Juma’at Mosque, Idris Aliyu Ibrahim Pantami, warned Muslims against rumour mongering, which he said always escalates such crisis. Patami reminded Muslims that the Islamic religion does not preach violence but tolerance and harmonious living with both Muslims and non-Muslims.

We look forward to as unambiguous statement from the Anglican Church of Nigeria that Christianity does not preach violence. Archbishop Peter Akinola, it’s 358 days and counting since we asked for an explanation. Do you repudiate violence? Can you say you do not encourage it?

Addendum. The Three-legged Stool has a fresh post on Akinola that’s worthy of a read.

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