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[Editors note: IRD recently hosted the Secretary General Dr. Musa Asake of the ecumenical Christian Association of Nigeria. The Secretary shared the most recent news concerning religious freedom in Africa’s most populous country, which Andrew Harrod expressed in part in the following Christian Post article earlier today.]

A delegation of Nigerian Christians visited the Washington, DC offices of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) this past Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Led by Dr. Musa Asake, the general secretary of the ecumenical Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Nigerians were in the American capital in order to discuss persecution of Nigerian Christians by the Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram (BH, translated as “Western education is sin”). The delegation presented chilling accounts of life for Christians amidst Islamist terror and called for action lest the violence only grow, engulfing Nigeria.

Asake described BH’s murderous attacks on Christians in northern Nigeria, with the initial goal of eradicating a Christian presence there. The historic long-term Islamification of the once Christian Maghreb, meanwhile, shows just how far BH’s ambitions could reach. BH uses silent nighttime killings with knives as well as firearms to massacre Christians. Asake expressed the fear that “you cannot sleep with your eyes closed” in northern Nigeria. Churches there must now surround themselves with barriers in order to prevent vehicle-borne attacks. Moreover, now northern Nigeria’s “children see dead bodies,” a troubling assault on their innocence.

Asake noted that Christians have the ability to retaliate in kind with, for example, bombings of Muslim public gatherings. Yet Christian leaders in northern Nigeria have counseled that it is wrong “to take the law into your own hands” and have invoked the injunction of Romans 12:19 that “vengeance is of the Lord.” Despite being “very patient”, though, northern Nigeria’s Christians “are human beings.”

Read the full piece at Christian Post.