Several hundreds killed in Nigeria

Known as the "city of peace and tourism," Jos, Nigeria, with a population of 2 million, is located in the heart of Africa's most populous nation. That peace was shattered on Sept. 7 as violence erupted between radical religious groups after extremists accused a woman of breaching a traffic barricade. Within two days, an estimated 160 people were killed and several homes and businesses burned.

Several church groups were affected, including the Assemblies of God. Jos is home to 30,000 A/G believers and 100 churches. Among the death toll were 11 A/G believers. Arsonist attacks destroyed two A/G churches and parsonages, the contents of a bookstore, and the homes and businesses of nine families. An inner-city A/G church of nearly 2,000 became an early target. "We see this as spiritual warfare," said Scott Ennis, A/G missionary. "Our people are hurting because of what has happened, but we have lived in peace before and we can live in peace again."

Three pastors of other denominations are confirmed dead. Throughout the city, more than 500 homes, businesses and vehicles have been destroyed. Fighting flared up again on Sept. 12, after word came of the terrorist attacks in the United States. Some extremists claimed that one religious group had the upper hand, so they were "out for revenge," but this time the Nigerian army halted the hostilities. The official death toll is around 500 people, with hundreds more feared dead.

Religion Today

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