Martyred in Nigeria, Part 2

August 21, 2009

A Letter from a Westminster Alumnus
Earlier in the year, we reported on Christians in Nigeria being martyred for their faith. We ask for your prayers as some of our Nigerian students and alumni had ministry friends die in the violence. 


"An update on the violence in Nigeria:

"The religious crisis that erupted early this week - see The New York Times article, by Senan Murray and Adam Nossiter, August 3, 2009 - has serious consequences for national security. This group of extremists that calls itself Talibans (or Boko Haram sect) in Nigeria, led by Muhammad Yusuf, has many hiding places some of which have been discovered. The security forces have been battling them with good success. Many of them have been killed in Borno, Kano, Bauchi and Yobe states, while many of them have been arrested in different places in Northern Nigeria.

"The casualties are higher in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. Various arms and ammunitions have also been recovered from them. There is tension in most of the northern states. Security forces have also discovered one of their schools in Taraba state that is called Alfurqan Islamic School, and this school is linked with Al Qaida. Their main agenda at this point is opposition to Western education which they say is sinful. They oppose the teaching of the English language. This is a school that has no legal rights to operate under the Nigerian law. A government official who visited the school said that it does not have a 'timetable' or (even record of) the subjects that are taught.

"All the northern states have now beefed up security surveillance and there are several roadblocks in some cities. Though the northern governors are officially fighting this evil, it is difficult to separate some Muslim politicians and clerics from this development. This development is one among many that have been happening in Nigeria which Christians and other non-Muslims have been victims.

"In 1999, when the then Zamfara state Governor, Ahmed Sani Yerima, came to power, he championed the "Islamization" of Northern Nigeria officially through the introduction and implementation of the Sharia legal code. This sparked a lot of violence in which many Christians lost their lives and property destroyed. Some Muslims may disassociate themselves from this phenomenon; it is nevertheless their own agenda.

"This agenda that targets Western education is a subtle attack on Christianity, because they do not separate Christianity and the West. Christianity and Western education are related, so it is clearly an agenda against Christians in Nigeria. If Western education is out, then it can only be replaced by the Arabic education which is a strategic way of Islamizing Nigeria or at the very least Northern Nigeria.

"Please keep our brothers and sisters in Nigeria in your prayers as they rely on God's strength in these troubled times."

- Rev. Philip Tachin, WTS PhD 2009