Christian Students "Disappear" in Nigeria

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

By BosNewsLife News Center

ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife) -- Two female Christian students remained missing Monday, April 10, after hard-line Muslims attacked them last month in a case that has underscored concern over violence against young Christian women in the African nation, news reports said.

Seven Muslims, who were also young student women, attacked the two Christians, identified as Joy and Priscilla, March 18 at Ahmadu Bello University in Kaduna state, said Christian news agency Compass Direct.

The attack allegedly happened in a bathroom facility at the women's residence within the campus, known for religious tensions.

They were apparently beaten until they were unconscious, but later treated at the university health clinic. Soon after, the Christian women reportedly disappeared. They were not seen since the university reopened after a scheduled break on March 28, Compass Direct said.


It comes amid reports that elsewhere in the country Christian young women have been the target of attacks by radical Muslims and police cooperating with them in several states. In the northern Bauchi State 16-year old Jamila Noma was reportedly briefly arrested because she became a Christian and rejected his decision to marry her off to a Muslim man.

Media said she is now in hiding with her lawyer, Suleiman Wurno. “If you are forcing me to marry a man who is a Muslim simply because of my decision to become a Christian, then I will rather have you kill me than accept to marry this man,” she reportedly said.

The teenager is in an uncertain situation since the court case began two years ago because her father has forced her out of the family home, Compass Direct reported.


Noma was quoted as saying that her father is a pagan, with a family made up of six wives and 16 children. She is apparently the last of six children of her mother.

It comes amid growing international worries over the treatment of Christian women in especially northern Nigeria, amid fears of new widespread religious tensions in the African nation. In February, at least 160 people were killed in several Nigerian cities as fighting between Christians and Muslims further escalated.

Over 900 people were believed to have been injured and dozens of churches torched in the latest spate of violence that began with protests against Christians over the publication of the prophet Muhammad in northern Nigeria.


Twelve northern states introduced Islamic sharia law in 2000, which experts say added to tensions between Christians and Muslims. In the past five years, religious violence claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people and displaced many thousands more from their homes and farms, according to church estimates.

Christians are estimated to comprise roughly 40 percent of Nigeria's nearly 130-million strong population. (With BosNewsLife Research and reports from Nigeria).

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