December 27, 2011
Church Bombings Mar Christmas for Nigerian Christians
Christmas Day was marred for Nigerian Christians after a series of church bombings killed at least 35 and wounded dozens more. In a suburb of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, more than 30 worshipers died at St. Theresa Catholic Church as they left Christmas mass.
Analysts largely agree that the bombings were an attempt by Boko Haram, a radical Islamist group in northern Nigeria, to stoke simmering tensions between Muslims and Christians, which evenly divide Africa's most populous nation of 160 million. Last year, dozens died in Christmas Eve bombings around Jos.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) warned that such attacks might provoke a "religious war."
"Enough is enough," said CAN secretary general Saidu Dogo. "We shall henceforth in the midst of these provocations and wanton destruction of innocent lives and property be compelled to make our own efforts and arrangements to protect the lives of innocent Christians and peace-loving citizens of this country."