The New Year’s resolution for “Sunnis for Da’wa [Islamization] and Jihad”—also known as Boko Haram, that is, “Western education is forbidden”—is to create a Christian-free Nigeria, beginning, naturally, with the north, where Muslims outnumber Christians.
Right at the start of 2012, Boko Haram issued an ultimatum giving Christians living in northern Nigeria three days to evacuate or die—an ultimatum the group has been living up to, so much so that Nigeria’s President Jonathan recently declared a state of emergency.
This, of course, is not to say that Boko Haram has not been long targeting Christians, as the New York Times—which all but apologized for the group’s terrorism—would have it.
Boko Haram and other Muslims have been terrorizing Nigerian Christians for years, killing thousands of them, and destroying hundreds of their churches. Just last November, hundreds of armed Muslims, many from the group, invaded Christian villages, “like a swarm of bees,” killing, looting, and destroying. At the end of their four-hour rampage, at least 130 Christians were killed. Forty-five other Christians in another village were slaughtered by another set of “Allahu Akbar!” screaming Muslims.
Likewise, another jihadi attack from last November, enabled by “local Muslims,” left five churches destroyed and several Christians killed: “The Muslims in this town were going round town pointing out church buildings and shops owned by Christians to members of Boko Haram, and they in turn bombed these churches and shops.” In one instance, a local Muslim pleaded with Boko Haram members not to burn down a particular church—not out of altruism, of course, but rather because that Muslim’s home was adjacent to the church, and might also have caught fire. The church was spared.
Still, beginning with Boko Haram’s church attacks of December 25, where over 40 people celebrating Christmas were killed, the group has definitely upped both the frequency and savagery of jihadi attacks on Christians and their churches. Most recently, armed Muslims stormed a church and “opened fire on worshippers as their eyes were closed in prayer,” killing six Christians, including the pastor’s wife, and wounding many.