Tuesday, August 23, 2011

500 Christians killed, 300 churches burned after Nigerian elections

Kaduna's streets were littered with charred corpses, evidence of two days of violence during which rioters murdered Christians and burned churches, police stations and homes in northern Nigeria. The rampage began on April 18, after Nigerian voters elected a Christian to the nation's highest office. While the Christian majority in southern Nigeria rejoiced, the Muslim majority in the north retaliated.

The riots began in at least five northern states almost simultaneously with the release of the election results. Angry mobs massacred hundreds of Christians, burned more than 300 churches and destroyed countless Christian homes.

After security forces had finally enforced a fragile peace in the area, an estimated 500 people had been killed, according to Nigeria's Civil Rights Congress. In addition, thousands had fled their homes, fearing continued attacks. The Red Cross reported that 48,000 displace people were living in tents and makeshift camps set up by the government.

(from Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, August 2011)

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