Christian schools, colleges, homes and churches have been targeted for looting and destruction in Niger. World Watch Monitor reports that more than 70 churches have been looted and burned by Muslim mobs in Niger.
Murder and Mayhem by Muslim Mobs
In Zinder, Muslim rioters went from house to house looting and burning the homes of Christians. The SIM (Society for International Missions) Mission compound in Gourd, the Good Samaritan orphanage run by the Assemblies of God and numerous other Christian schools and colleges were burned. So far the bodies of 5 Christians have been found in burned out churches.
Mosques Mobilise Mobs
This sudden hair-trigger anti-Christian riot erupted after Friday prayers in the mosques on 16 January, in Niger's second largest city, Zinder. Reportedly whipped up into a frenzy over reports of the satirical depiction of Muhammad on the cover of Charlie Hebdo (the notorious French magazine which has published many blasphemous attacks on God and The Lord Jesus Christ), Muslims in Niger chose to vent their rage on local Christians, who obviously could have had nothing to do with the irreverent and blasphemous cartoons of secular French journalists in Paris!
Overwhelmed by Muslim MajorityReportedly Christians make up barely 0.33% of the total population in Niger. Muslims make up 97% of the population of Niger.
A Study in Contrasts
Elizabeth Kendal of the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin, points out that these riots expose the key difference between Islam and Christianity. From the Bible, Christians understand that human beings are fallen, inherently sinful, routinely arrogant, selfish, insensitive, uncaring, cruel and hurtful to others - until they are set free from their slavery to sin through spiritual transformation. Christians therefore respond to the vile and offensive anti-Christian blasphemy in humanist publications, such as Charlie Hebdo, through prayer and witness, working to transform society so that blasphemy will ultimately have no market.
A Political Agenda
However, by way of contrast, Islam is a material and political religion where the goal is to control people and societies through the enforcement of Islamic Shari'a law. Thus for Islam the answer to blasphemy is Shari'a law: the blasphemer must die! Apparently, those who have nothing to do with the blasphemy must also die for some reason.
A Clash of Civilisations
The Gospel targets hearts and seeks to renew minds, working to transform individuals and revitalise families, who will then act as Salt and Light to bless and Reform communities. Islam seeks to impose its laws through force and terror.
Christianity works from the inside out, through freedom. Islam works from the outside in, through force. In this, Islam and Christianity are total opposites.
The vicious explosion of anti-Christian violence, looting, murder and mayhem unleased on Friday, 16 January, has now spread to the capital Niamey. Christians in Niger are reporting that their community has been shattered by these ferocious attacks.
"Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have Faith." 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74
Christians Under Fire in Africa
Christians Targeted in Nuba Mountains