By BosNewsLife Africa Service
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– At least two churches were attacked by suspected Islamic militants in northern Nigeria in recent days, an evangelist told BosNewsLife Saturday, May 12, following several other incidents that killed some 20 Christians.
“As I returned from an evangelistic tour in neighboring Niger, I just found out that an [Evangelical Church of West Africa] ECWA [congregation] in the city of Potiskum in Yobe state was attack and burned to ashes Monday” said preacher Paul Jongas.
“No deaths were reported,” he added. However “Likewise lastnight some armed men attacked St. Micheal Catholic church” in the Borno state capital of Maiduguri, the preacher added.
There was no immediate known claim of responsibility, but the Nigerian Islamic group Boko Haram killed at least four people in an attack on a April 29 Sunday church service in the city, police said earlier.
Gunmen also killed the same day at least 15 people and wounded many more at a Christian service in the northern city of Kano, BosNewsLife reported citing Jongas and other sources.
Boko Haram, which wants to establish an Islamic state, has made clear “their main target is to do away with northern Nigerian Christians and churches,” Jongas stressed. He said pressured churches have urged for prayers at a time when Boko Haram claims to have support from several “top government officers”.
Nigeria’s police said Saturday, May 11, however that they captured a senior commander of the militant Boko Haram in Kano, the capital of Kano state and scene of attacks this year that have killed hundreds of people.
Security sources also said that the man police say they caught, Suleiman Mohammed, was known to be a leading Boko Haram figure in Kano. Boko Haram has reportedly denied the detention of senior members claimed by the police in the past.
“We made an arrest Friday based on intelligence reports concerning his hideout and he was arrested successfully with his wife and children in his hideout,” the police
commissioner in Kano State, Ibrahim Idris, told Reuters news agency.
Despite the difficulties, Jongas and his team continue evangelism in the region and neighboring Niger. “God is at work”, he said, but “we need prayers.”
He claimed his group urgently needs roughly 130 dollars for an electric generator. “We have an old one” when traveling to villages, “and it always breaks,” explained Jongas, who plans to continue preaching despite the dangers.
He said he can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more details about his work and needs. The evangelist’s bank account is 00400520175240 with account name Paul Jongas at Nigerian Bank UBA. (With reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos and reports from Nigeria).