Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Renewed violence in Nigeria prompts call for prayer.

Church of the Brethren leaders are calling for prayer for peace in Nigeria following renewed violence near the city of Jos. This past Sunday, as many as 500 people in three villages south of the city were killed by armed mobs.

"We express profound sadness for the loss of human life," said Stan Noffsinger, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, who asked the church to join in prayer for Nigeria and for Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

So far, no word has been received that EYN churches or members have been affected by the violence that occurred over the weekend.

"We hold the families that have suffered this loss in our thoughts and prayers," Noffsinger said. "At the same time our prayers extend to those involved in the violence, that we discover a way to overcome our human differences that restores relationships rather than enacts retribution. We wish there was a way that peace could prevail."

Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission Partnerships, also called for prayer. He said that his office is staying in regular contact with EYN staff and the Church of the Brethren mission workers who are placed with EYN. The EYN headquarters and the Church of the Brethren mission workers are located near the city of Mubi, some distance away from Jos toward the eastern border of the country.

The Jos area has suffered several episodes of sectarian violence and rioting, the most recent just two months ago in mid-January (see the Newsline Special of Jan. 19 at and previous to that in late 2008. In 2001, some 1,000 people were killed in rioting in Jos.

According to media reports, some experts say this weekend's attacks had to do with ethnic conflicts, while others blamed political and economic tensions in the country, and others characterized it as inter-religious violence between Christians and Muslims.

Source: 3/10/2010 Newsline

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