They Cry in Silence May/Jun 2014

NIGERIA—Muslim herdsmen wielding guns and machetes attacked three villages in Kaduna state in March, killing more than 100 Christians and destroying homes. The attack came one month after Islamic extremist rebels from Boko Haram invaded a predominantly Christian village in northeastern Nigeria, slaughtering at least 121 people.

The Rev. Yakubu Gandu Nkut, chairman of the Zankan area chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, said the wife of a pastor from the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) and her three children were among the dead in March, and the ECWA and Anglican church buildings were burned down. Women and children were burned to death in their homes.

A man from another village said, “As I talk to you, there is no single house that has not been destroyed. . . . As we made efforts to escape from being killed, our attackers shot at everyone they saw. It was a miracle that I escaped alive.”

In February, the rebels, who seek to impose Sharia law throughout Nigeria, shot some Christians and slit the throats of others while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is greater”) in Izghe village in Borno state. They also destroyed homes and shops. Thousands of villagers fled to Cameroon.

That massacre came after a Boko Haram attack on a church in neighboring Adamawa state in January that took the lives of 11 people. The Islamist gunmen killed the 50-year-old pastor of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria and 10 members of his congregation.

Boko Haram activity in Borno state displaced an entire church in 2012. The attack, said the pastor, “destroyed our worship building and our homes. We’ve become a remnant of a church in exile.”

EGYPT—In February a Muslim went on an anti-Christian rampage in Upper Egypt that left one woman dead and another wounded. Now many area Coptic women are too afraid to leave their homes.

The man attacked several Christians, including employees of two Coptic-owned pharmacies and two students who were walking nearby. Madline Wagih Demian, 30, was killed solely because of her faith, said her brother, Ayman Wagih Demian. “He killed her because she is a Christian,” Demian said. “There was nothing else. He was targeting Christian pharmacies. He went and tried to attack a Christian, and when he failed, he went to the next Christian pharmacy.”

Security officials arrested Mahmoud Mohamed Ali around midnight the night of the attacks, which began shortly before 7 P.M. when Ali walked up to the service counter of a Coptic-owned pharmacy, requested some medication, and asked for the price. He said, “I am going to kill you. I am going to kill you.” The victim grabbed the hand that had the knife in it and kicked Ali repeatedly, causing him to flee.

Ali went to another Coptic-owned pharmacy and, once inside, pulled out the knife and plunged it into Madline Wagih Demian’s neck, severing one of her arteries, witnesses said. Demian screamed, fell to the floor, and bled to death within seconds.

Ali ran out of the pharmacy and viciously stabbed Marian Kamal Shafik, 19. She was walking by with Youstina Nasser Gendy, 18. Both were friends of Demian. They survived. Ali told Shafik, “You deserve it.”

“What was the girl who was killed guilty of?” Gendy asked, her voice filling with anger. “What are we guilty of that we are not able to walk the street? What have we done to ‘ deserve’ this?”

Copts are concerned Ali will be labeled mentally incompetent, allowing him to escape punishment. The tactic is employed frequently in clear-cut cases of violence against Copts, so people attack Christians with impunity.

by Morning Star News
(morningstarnews.org)

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