Muslim Youngsters Attack Catholic Church In Suleja, Injure Parishioners



A group of Muslim youths on Friday attacked
worshipers at Saint Philip Catholic Church in
Baki Ikun along Kaduna Road in Suleja, near
Nigeria’s capital of Abuja. The Muslim
youngsters assaulted parishioners, inflicting
varying degrees of bodily injuries on many.
A police source as well as some of the Christian worshipers
disclosed that the attacks occurred on Friday evening when
hundreds of Muslim fanatics descended on the church and
wreaked havoc on the church building, vehicles and
parishioners. The attackers dispersed the parishioners,
claiming that Christians do not have the right to worship on
Friday.
“We were praying inside the church when some Muslim
youths with dangerous weapons besieged us from nowhere,
beating everyone in sight, including security guards
attached to the church,” one of the victims told our
correspondent.
Another eyewitness, who gave his name as Emmanuel, told
a correspondent of SaharaReporters that the attackers
destroyed property both inside and outside the church. “The
Muslim attackers kept shouting that it is only Muslims that
have the right to pray on Friday. That was the reason they
gave for attacking us,” he said.
SaharaReporters made several efforts to reach the parish
priest, Reverend Father Gobep Sylvester, without success.
Our correspondent reported that a combined team of armed
policemen and soldiers had been deployed to the area
where the church is located to maintain law and order.
The attack came a week after suspected Muslim fanatics
murdered Eunice Olawale, a female pastor in the Redeemed
Christian Church of God (RCCG). The murder victim, who
was married, was ambushed as she returned from her
morning evangelization in the Kubwa area of Abuja.
Her murder has triggered growing religious and ethnic
tension in Abuja and its surrounding areas. Some Christian
leaders have accused President Muhammadu Buhari and
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammadu Bello,
of a conspiracy of silence, adding that such official
nonchalance was aggravating the sense of tension.
“For President Muhammadu Buhari and FCT Minister
Muhammadu Bello to ignore the barbaric attacks on us
[Christians] in Abuja is a dangerous signal. Their silence
gives us the impression that they don’t care what happens
to us. But they should be aware that Christians are capable
of defending themselves if the government does not want to
do the right thing,” one pastor told our correspondent.

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