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Boko Haram destroys Adventist Church in Nigeria

Boko Haram destroys Adventist Church in Nigeria

Bern, Switzerland [Ansel Oliver/ANN, CD EUDNews]. October 6, 2014. A Seventh-day Adventist Church official in Northern Nigeria said the terrorist group Boko Haram destroyed an Adventist Church last month after members fled the area.

October 06, 2014 | Ansel Oliver/ANN, CD EUDNews, Wikipedia

Bern, Switzerland [Ansel Oliver/ANN, CD EUDNews]. October 6, 2014. A Seventh-day Adventist Church official in Northern Nigeria said the terrorist group Boko Haram destroyed an Adventist Church last month after members fled the area.

The Magar Adventist Church in the Northeastern state of Borno was burned on Saturday, August 23, said Stephen H. Bindas, president of the Northern Nigeria Union Conference, based in Abuja. The incident happened after the congregation’s 67 members left the area to escape Boko Haram’s threats, Bindas said.

Magar is a village near Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. The Adventist congregation there is one of seven rural churches built in 2009 with funds provided by the denomination’s Global Mission, Bindas said.

Bindas said the whereabouts of many members are unknown. Some went as far as the city of Jos in the middle of the country and are now staying at the headquarters of the North East Nigeria Conference. “At the moment, the insurgents have taken over their homes, foodstuffs and beddings,” Bindas said in an email. Though none of the Adventist churches in the region had previously been threatened, many other Christian groups are facing the same fate, he said.

“We ask the world church to remember Northern Nigeria in prayers and to assist in whatever means to restore hope to these fleeing members and their families,” he said.

More about Boko Haram

'Boko Haram ('Western education is a sin'), officially called Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'Awati Wal-Jihad (People Committed to the Prophet's Teachings for Propagation and Jihad), is a militant Islamist movement based in northeast Nigeria. The group was designated by the US as a terrorist organisation in November 2013. Membership has been estimated to number between a few hundred and a few thousand.

Boko Haram killed more than 5,000 civilians between July 2009 and June 2014, including at least 2,000 in the first half of 2014, in attacks occuring mainly in northeast, northcentral and central states. Corruption in the security services and human rights abuses committed by them have hampered efforts to counter the unrest. 650,000 people fled the conflict zone by August 2014, an increase of 200,000 since May.

Boko Haram was founded as a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist sect advocating a strict form of sharia law and developed into a Salafist-jihadi group in 2009, influenced by the Wahhabi movement. It seeks the establishment of an Islamic state in Nigeria, and opposes the Westernising of Nigerian society that has concentrated the wealth of the country among a small political elite, mainly in the christian south of the country. Nigeria is Africa's biggest economy; 60% of its population of 173 million (2013) live on less than $1 a day.

The group was originally also known as 'Yusifiyya', after its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, until his death in 2009. The name 'Boko Haram', 'Western education is forbidden', is from the Arabic حَرَام haràm, 'forbidden'; and the Hausa word boko [the first vowel is long, the second pronounced in a low tone], 'fake' (defined as "(a) Doing anything to create impression that one is better off, or that thing is of better quality or larger in amount than is the case, (b) anything so treated... etc.").

Boko Haram has also been translated as "non-Moslem education is forbidden," - “Western influence is a sin,”and “Westernization is sacrilege." (Wikipedia)

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