Nigerian Christians Concerned after Hundreds of Islamists Escape Incarceration

Sunday, September 12, 2010

By Joseph C DeCaro, Worthy News International Correspondent

BAUCHI, Nigeria (Worthy News)-- Boko Haram, a radical Muslim sect, used assault rifles to launch a coordinated raid on a prison in northern Nigeria, freeing more than 700 prisoners and raising new fears of violence against Christians in the nation.

Armed men attacked the prison in Bauchi, Nigeria at night; they fought with guards for two hours, killing at least four people during the shootout.

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.

Christian leaders were alarmed by the escape of so many Boko members; last year, Boko Haram carried out attacks against Nigerian police officials, resulting in hundreds of deaths; one dozen Christians, including Pastor Sabo Yakubu, Rev. Sylvester O. Akpan and Rev. George Orjhi, were among the dead.

"[The escape] is a clear indication of anarchy," said Rev. 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."