January 6, 2012
Christians in northern Nigeria are increasingly being forced to consider relocating from their ancestral home as a result of attacks from the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. On Jan. 4, Boko Haram launched deadly bomb attacks in three northern states, hours after the expiry of its deadline for Christians to leave the area and nearly a week after president Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency for the region. Violence continued yesterday evening, as gunmen attacked a church meeting and killed six. Reports indicate that Boko Haram intends to change tactics to circumvent the state of emergency: "We have learned that they have taken note of areas where people gather, have marked Christian houses and churches, and will be attacking house by house at night," one source said. CSW's chief executive, Mervyn Thomas, said: "If the security situation does not improve and Boko Haram systematically targets Christian houses ... many indigenous Christians may ultimately be forced out of their ancestral homes."