Boko Haram Strikes Again
Boko Haram terrorists seems to be intent on hitting Christian Churches in Nigeria during the most sacred days on the Christian calendar. Easter Sunday a suicide bomber attempted to drive his car into the compound of the ECWA Goodnews church in Kaduna. When he was refused to pass through a barrier near the church, he drove around the block and his bomb detonated. At least thirty-six people were killed, many of them motorcycle taxi drivers waiting at a stand where fuel was being sold.
Northern Nigeria has been terrorized by the jihadist group Boko Haram for almost two years. The past few weeks had been relatively calm. On Christmas day, forty-four worshipers were killed in Abuja when a car bomb was detonated in the parking lot of a Catholic church.
The bomb was highly explosive on Easter Sunday catapulting the engine of the Honda Accord more than a quarter of a mile away from the site of the explosion. The explosion carved out a meter deep crater and causing extensive damage to scores of buildings in the area including the Fina White Hotel. Mangled cars and motorcycles littered the street.
It was a horrific scene with emergency workers and the Red Cross recovered body parts with in a quarter mile radius of the blast.
Kaduna Church Counts Blessings
Members of the ECWA Goodnews church count themselves relatively blessed because the bomber had been turned away at a barrier they had mounted near the church building. Church members manning the barrier said the man told them he lived in a house just past the barrier, but the church member did not recognize him and denied him passage.
Such barriers are set up by many of the larger churches in Kaduna and elsewhere in the north on a regular basis, but security was more intense on Easter Sunday.
Nigerian Christians Target
For the past couple of months, Christian leaders have called on their members to remain law abiding and in prayer over what they termed persecution. Boko Haram has warned all Christians and southerners to leave the north of Nigeria. Many have returned to the more peaceful south of the country.