By BosNewsLife Africa Service with reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– An umbrella group of key churches in Nigeria has warned Christians in the African nation of more attacks after a Christian preacher and mother of seven was hacked to death by suspected Muslim militants while she was publicly speaking about faith in Jesus Christ in a suburb of Abuja, the capital.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) also confirmed that it had asked family members to postpone the funeral of 42-year-old Eunice Olawale, a pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of Nigeria and an evangelist, amid an ongoing investigation into the July 9 murder.
Olawale’s husband, Olawale Elisha, told local media that his wife had left their home early morning to preach in the neighborhood but she never returned home.
Elisha reportedly said his wife had told him before that she had previously encountered some people from a nearby mosque who criticized her preaching.
In remarks seen by BosNewsLife, CAN Secretary General Musa Asake said that the “national leadership and the entire members of CAN have received with rude shock and disbelief the report of yet another religious hatred-motivated gruesome murder of a dedicated 42-year old Christian mother of seven children…”
Asake added that she was “brutally killed” July 9 “while doing Christian evangelism” in the Kubwa area of Abuja. “Her neck was slashed and she was also stabbed in the stomach,” CAN said.
This wasn’t an isolated incident, CAN recalled. “About a month ago in Kano, Mrs. Bridget Agbaheme, a 74 year old Christian, was murdered at Wambai market due to an altercation with a Muslim man who came to the front of her shop to perform ablution.Her offence was that she objected to the Islamic washing rite in front of her shop.”
CAN said the incidents underscored “the unprovoked attacks on Christians” and that “the authority’s inaction is becoming unbearable and may not be tolerated anymore”. While asking Christians to prepare for more violence, CAN stressed that it would also “continue to call on Christians to remain tolerant and law abiding.”
The attacks come amid reported violence against Christians and the rise of the Boko Haram militant group in Nigeria’s northeast Borno State. Nigeria is the 12th worst country in the world when it comes to persecution of Christians, according to the annual World Watch List of advocacy group Open Doors.