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While the mainstream media, analysts, government officials, etc. try to portray these attacks as products of Nigerian poverty—most recently, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs insisted that “religion is not driving extremist violence” in Nigeria—the fact is, wherever in the world there are significant numbers of Muslims (Nigeria is essentially half Christian, half Muslim), churches are under siege (see sections dealing with church attacks in my “Muslim Persecution of Christians” reports for February, January,December, November, October, September, August, and July).
Some of the more spectacular ones include the Baghdad church attack where 58 Christians were killed; likewise, the New Year’s Eve church bombing in Egypt that saw over 20 Christians killed (when several more churches were bombed and attacked and thousands of Egyptian Christians demonstrated, they were slaughtered by their own military); earlier, in 2010, eight Egyptian Christians were shot dead by drive-by Muslims as they were leaving church on Christmas Eve.
Incidentally, Muslim attacks on churches during the holiest of Christian holidays are not limited to Nigeria and Egypt, but occur throughout the Muslim world—for instance, in distant, “moderate” Philippines, where another church was bombed during Christmas.
Of course, there are some Muslim nations—Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and soon possibly Kuwait—where one rarely hears of church attacks; but that is because they have nipped the “church problem” in the bud by not allowing them to exist in the first place. In other words, the hatred for churches is still there, but in an unseen form.
Speaking of hatred, while church attacks are efficient ways to ensure the deaths of maximum numbers of Christians—in that worshippers are tightly gathered in one spot—intentionally targeting churches during the highest Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter, is also a reminder of the malevolency that drives such attacks.
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