A suicide bomber with the Nigerian Islamic insurgent group Boko Haram killed three Christians in an attack at a Jos, Nigeria, church in just the latest of what has been described as a deliberate Muslim attempt to eliminate Christians.
The Boko Haram operative drove an explosive-filled car to the church during early morning services. The bomb detonated, killing the bomber, two women and one child at the Church of Christ’s northern Nigeria headquarters.
An International Christian Concern report says church compound gatekeeper John Zafian saw the car approaching.
“I was at the gate and saw this blue car drive furiously at the gate. It is my responsibility to carry out a metal detector search at the gate,” Zafian said. “I was waiting to do so when this man didn’t stop and drove his way into the gate.
Zafian said he watched the attacker “knock down a motorcycle and a continue driving towards the church building, when all of a sudden there was a blast and some pieces of flying metal injured my arm.”
ICC reports that some people linked to the targeted church reacted to the attack by killing two Muslims and burning down two Muslim-owned businesses.
International Christian Concern’s Africa Area Specialist Jonathan Racho said Boko Haram’s goal is nothing less than extermination of the Christians.
“The Islamists want to exterminate Christians from north Nigeria. They want to implement strict version of Shariah law all over Nigeria. These are their motives in carrying out the attacks,” Racho said.
Racho said a second motive is to drive Christians to Nigeria’s “Christian south.”
“They are already succeeding in some parts of northern Nigeria. In some areas, Christians have been forced to leave their homes after they came under attacks from Boko Haram,” Racho said.
Boko Haram means “Western education is evil,” and the goal of the group is to impose Islamic law in Nigeria.
Racho urges Christians worldwide to pray for the safety of the Christian church in Nigeria. He added that ICC is calling on the Nigerian government to protect Christians and bring the guilty to justice.
“The continuous killing of Christians and the lack of effective protection for innocents is driving Nigeria into chaos. We ask the Nigerian government to bring all Christian and Muslim perpetrators of violence to justice,” Racho said.