New Violence in Nigeria Leads to 350 Dead, 250 Missing

( [email protected] ) May 11, 2004 04:12 PM EDT

The latest conflicts in Nigeria have resulted in the deaths of 350 people, the disappearance of 250 women and children, and the destruction of over 1,000 houses and religious buildings according to recent reports. The clash erupted early Sunday, May 2 shortly after last month’s violence that led to the death of 120 and the displacement of thousands.

According to news reports from the Associated Press and Agence France Press (AFP), land disputes between members of the predominately Christian Tarok tribe and Muslim Hausa-Fulani farmers sparked the violence in Yelwa town in the central state of Plateau, Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Christian association denied involvement in the clashes between Christian and Muslim tribes. Yakubu Pam, a chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Plateau state said that CAN could not have involved itself in such a condemnable act. “As the body of Christ – washed, purified and sanctified by the blood of Jesus – we shall never partake in such heinous and dastardly acts, not to talk of taking life, which to the Christian faith is wrong,” he said.

Since 1999, religious conflicts, mostly between northern Muslims and southern Christians have claimed an estimated 10,000 lives. Two months earlier, Muslim militants had killed a pastor and 48 members of his Church, according to Compass Direct.

“Nigeria is a really volatile country,” says Open Doors USA President Dr. Carl Moeller. “This a is a key country for the spread of Christianity throughout Africa. We need prayer warriors to pray for an end to the violence and the spread of Sharia law in Nigeria.”

So far, Sharia law has been implemented in 12 northern states.