By BosNewsLife Africa Service
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– Nigeria’s government came under pressure Friday, March 6, to set up an independent commission investigating deadly attacks against Christians by Muslim extremists, while elsewhere in Africa, in Kenya, an evangelical church expressed concerns over Muslim militants.
U.S. based International Christian Concern (ICC) said authorities have so far done little to investigate tensions in northern Nigeria, two weeks after Muslim mobs reportedly gunned down Christians while setting fire to homes and churches in a three-day rampage that killed at least 11 people. Over 3,000 people were reportedly displaced following the violence in the city of Bauchi.
“Nigerian officials have repeatedly failed their obligations to protect Christian minorities from savage attacks by Muslim extremists in the northern part of the country,” added ICC’s Regional Manger for Africa, Jonathan Racho. “We call upon the Nigerian government to establish an independent commission to investigate the attacks in Bauchi and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
It came as in Kenya, Christians were still worshipping in the sweltering heat of the open air, half a year after a gang of Muslim youths ruined their church building on September 14. The angry Muslim youths reportedly threw more than 400 members of the Redeemed Gospel Church out of their church building in the northern town of Garissa.
The Christians told reporters they were dissappointed that local authorities have not helped them to return to the ruins of their former structure. “After six months in the open, the church feels tired and cheated,” pastor David Matolo said in remarks published by Christian news agency Compass Direct News.
“We are fed up with the empty promises from the government administration.” He said the church, which began worshipping in Garissa in early 2001 with only a dozen members, is fast shrinking.
“Our church membership has decreased, which is of great concern to me…The church thinks that the government has decided to buy time – almost every month I do book appointments with the relevant authorities, who on several occasions have given us a deaf ear.”
As in Nigeria, Muslim extremism has been spreading in Kenya, rights groups have suggested.