By BosNewsLife Africa Service
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– Christians in northern Nigeria were mourning Saturday, May 7, after Muslim attackers reportedly killed 17 Christians, including the wife and three children of a pastor.
Several Christian homes were also burned in the village of Kurum in Nigeria’s tense Bauchi State, said advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC).
Pastor James Musa Rike reportedly held the hands of his dying, 35-year-old wife and told her, “Hold on to your faith in Jesus, and we shall meet and never part again.”
ICC told BosNewsLife that it learned about the massacre Friday, May 6. “It is not right for anyone to kill another person, life is precious and a gift from God,” explained ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho. No more details were immediately available, but the attack was the latest in a series of recent incidents in which hundreds of people died.
“Since 1999 in Bauchi state, several Christians have been killed but no one has been brought before justice. The government has to intervene. The government has to be fair to all its citizens,” said Reverend Turbe Ngodem in published remarks.
Reverend Ngodem is the General Secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria in Bauchi State. Since the introduction of Sharia, or Muslim, law in northern Nigeria in 1999, thousands of Christians have been killed by Muslim extremists, according to several rights groups and churches.
The latest round of violence followed April elections in which President Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian, was declared the winner.
Muslim supporters of his rival Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler, protested the outcome and attacked churches, witnesses said.
Racho said ICC has urged Nigeria’s government to “prevent the bloodshed of innocent Christians in northern Nigeria. Nigeria must end impunity for the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.”
Jonathan warned last week he was considering imposing a state of emergency in two northern states.