By Michael Ireland
Senior International Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
WASHINGTON, DC (ANS) -- Members of Nigeria's radical Islamic group, Boko Haram, carried out separate attacks on two churches during worship services Sunday (June 10) in northern Nigeria, killing at least one Christian and wounding over 40.
ICC (International Christian Concern) www.persecution.org says that following the attacks, the Islamists vowed to continue their killing campaign until they succeed in establishing an Islamic state in Nigeria.
ICC reports that a member of Boko Haram drove a car into Christ Chosen Church, in the city of Jos, and detonated a suicide bomb that demolished the church, wounding over 40 parishioners.
In another attack, three members of Boko Haram opened fire on a church in the town of Biu, killing at least one Christian and wounding three others, ICC said.
In retaliatory attacks, Christian youth killed two people in Jos.
"The Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state," said, Abul Qaqa, Boko Haram's spokesman, in a phone interview to reporters after the attacks.
ICC explained that Boko Haram is a radical Islamic group that has been fighting to implement a strict version of Sharia law across Nigeria. The group has repeatedly said that it wants to eradicate Christians from northern Nigeria.
"Whoever is doing what they are doing against the Christians are desperate. We know that the world is in denial that Christians are under attack. But these incidents show that Christians are indeed under attack. We hope that international decision making bodies will look into the plight of Christians in Nigeria because people are frustrated," said Mark Lipdo in an interview with ICC. Mark is program coordinator for the Stefanos Foundation, a Christian ministry based in northern Nigeria.
ICC's Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho, said: "We are deeply alarmed by the continuous killing of Christians in northern Nigeria.
"In my recent trip to Nigeria, I witnessed the unspeakable level of violence against Christians by Islamic Jihad. The Nigerian government has failed to effectively protect its Christian citizens from Jihad. We urge Nigeria to avert further devastation by stepping up measures to protect innocent civilians from attack."
Please call the Nigerian Embassy in your country and ask them to protect Christians who are being attacked by radical Muslim groups.
USA: Phone (202) 986-8400 Fax (202)362-6541
UK: Phone 0207 839 1244 Fax 0207 839 8746
ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.