Congregation worships rubble in Boko Haram’s backyard


Maiduguri, Nigeria — Christians in Borno, Nigeria, have seen ISIS terrorists burn the church for years, but now say the government itself is destroying the church.

The demolition of a church in the city, which has survived a murderous riot attack known as Boko Haram for 12 years, has ignited a storm of controversial fire.

Governor Babagana Umar Zrum claims that the law is on his side, but a popular local minister says he is a victim of “subtle jihad.”

“We are only facing the subtle jihad of the Borno government, the battle with the church, and only his god of comfort will save us all,” said Rev. Joel Stephen Billi, the state government. A few days after destroying his church, he told the Epoch Times on August 5 in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno.

To make matters worse, after a crowd of protesters on the scene threw stones at the demolitionists, they fired from the “civilian police.” The pastor’s son and another man died. Five other protesters were injured.

The governor reportedly accused the shooting on August 6 and ordered the investigation of the Borno Geographical Information System, BOGIS, and guards responsible for the dismantling.

Church members did not discourage worship. Rev. Billi, President of the Nigerian Brotherhood Church, widely known as Nigerian Ekklisiyar Yan’uwa (EYN), gathered with hundreds of worshipers on the rubble of the church destroyed on Sunday morning in August. Served in. 8.8.

Epoch Times Photo
Rev. Stephen Billi. (Courtesy of Rev. Stephen Billi)

Bishop Mohammed Williams Naga, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), condemned the killings at a press conference on Saturday and demanded that the state rebuild the six Christian churches that were destroyed last year.

“Unfortunately, our state Christians have been denied an occupation certificate to build a church by the state government since 1979, but we land by a” certificate of transfer “to build a place of worship. / We have acquired the parcel, “Naga told the rally.According to the media, of the press and church members Report..

According to Nigeria, Naga also demanded that the state government end the state’s ban on the education of Christian religious education in its elementary and junior high schools. media..

A spokesman for Governor Sülm claims that the church did not have a building permit and that both the mosque and the church, which were built without a legal permit, were demolished.

“For the demolished EYN Church, the Borno Geographic Information System (BOGIS) has so far nine illegally built mosques and four illegally built churches as part of an ongoing land management and urban development program. I’ll make it clear that I’ve demolished the epoch time by Alhaji Isa Gusau, a special aide to the media. “The problem was mainly about lack of quota documents or misuse of land, and in all cases, including EYN, some notices were given.” The destroyed church is a bit far from the mosque. increase.

“Our church has a certificate of residence registered with the Maiduguri Local Church Board (LCB), so why should we withdraw it when there is a mosque near a church in the same community? “Naga told the Epoch Times.

Zuram told the media on Friday that he was working on rebuilding a nation that had suffered various levels of destruction by Boko Haram’s militants for nearly a decade.

“My government is working again on the reconstruction of the peaceful state of Borno. I am in the spirit of economic vibrancy and the unity of our beloved country, as we are peaceful and harmonious. I’m working hard to see him come back, “Zram said.

The youth of the congregation, who lost the building, protested the shooting violently and took revenge on Bishop Naga for doing too little to protect the churches in the city. A group of men destroyed Bishop Naga’s office in Maiduguri and threatened to disrupt peace if the government did not promise to rebuild the church within 24 hours.

“We are giving the government and CAN chair 24 hours to rebuild this church, or we will attack his house. We haven’t seen him since this incident happened. So we attack CAN Chairman’s house. He said nothing to us. While talking to journalists at the scene of the destroyed church, he is the youth leader of the destroyed EYN church. According to Ishaku on Sunday, he is sold out.

“Our mixer was destroyed. All chairs and all property were completely destroyed. I had no chance to remove anything. Our water factory was also completely demolished. I All of our tanks have been destroyed, “said Ishak.

“More than 90% of the worshipers of the destroyed church are indigenous to Borno, so they reserved the right to worship in faith,” said EYN’s resident minister at a press conference at the site of the destroyed church. Rev. Shawulu Auta Ndahi said.

“Borno is our state and we must worship in the way we choose,” Dahi said.

Bishop Naga denied critics’ accusations in a conversation with The Epoch Times. “Young people in the city want an open show of the fight against the government, and I urge them to lead the path of peace,” Naga said.

Tom Galva

Tom Galva has 15 years of experience reporting on religious freedom in Nigeria.