By Joseph C DeCaro, BosNewsLife International Correspondent with BosNewsLife Africa Service
BAUCHI, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– Christians in northern Nigeria feared more attacks against them Thursday, September 16, after a radical Muslim sect freed hundreds of prisoners, including supporters.
The sect, Boko Haram, used assault rifles to launch a coordinated raid on a prison in Bauchi, freeing up to 800 inmates, including some 100 followers, officials said. Five people – a soldier, a police officer, two prison guards and a civilian – died in last week’s attack and six others remain in critical condition, according to local police.
Boko Haram, which means “Western Education is Sin” in local dialect, seeks to impose shar’ia or Islamic law throughout Nigeria, especially targeting areas that are majority Christian, church groups said.
Christian leaders said they were alarmed by the September 7 escape of so many Boko members as last year, Boko Haram carried out attacks against Nigerian police officials, resulting in hundreds of deaths. At least a dozen Christians, including Pastor Sabo Yakubu, Reverend Sylvester O. Akpan and Rev. George Orjhi, were among those killed.
“[The escape] is a clear indication of anarchy,” explained Reverend John Hayab, General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigerian’s Kaduna State chapter. “Boko Haram is a threat to Christians in northeastern part of Nigeria where Christians were killed, including pastors killed and church burned down. More people could be killed if they are not checked.”