Boko Haram terrorizes northern Nigeria

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By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Coorespondent

ABUJA, NIGERIA (Worthy News)– As the Islamists of Boko Haram continue to terrorize northern Nigeria, local residents are still reeling from the bombing of three of Kaduna's churches weeks ago.

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for attacks on churches throughout the mainly Muslim north of Nigeria; after the assaults on three churches in Kaduna on June 17 during Sunday mass, Christian youth rioted against their Muslim neighbors: both the bombings and the resulting rioting claimed the lives of at least 50 Nigerians, so the government imposed a strict curfew throughout the state.

"I am Christian," said Paul Aminu, who lives in Kaduna with his wife and infant son. "I did not dare go to church last Sunday; I was too afraid of another attack, but as I drove to the gas station, I passed near a church; the youths of this church had mounted road blocks all around it and were checking every vehicle very thoroughly, irrespective of who the driver was. Now, Christians and police are working side by side to guard the churches. Seeing this makes me feel safe enough to go back to mass …

"I've lived here for four years, in which time the city suffered four attacks by Boko Haram … They used to say they were fighting against the government, but lately they seem to want an "Islamization" of the entire country and to do this they’re trying to discourage us from going to worship. I think Christians have been really pushed against a wall with all these attacks, and that’s why in Kaduna, some of them unfortunately engaged in reprisal attacks on Muslims, exacerbating the situation."

Aminu said that although Muslims and Christians live and work together in Kaduna, the city is segregated between Christians living in its southern end and Muslims in its north, creating a tinder box that can ignite at the slightest provocation.

Further, the constant attacks are causing major problems in Kaduna: companies are leaving because the 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew isn't good for business.

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