What happened the day that riots overtook Niger and terror devastated a small Christian community?
Early in 2015, a French satirical magazine (Charlie Hebdo) published a controversial cartoon, which triggered an attack on their office in Paris, France, where 11 people were killed. As two million gathered in Paris in a peaceful show of national unity, the event set off a ripple effect across the Muslim world, including in Niger where rioters lashed out at the closest thing they associated with the West – the church. Rioters killed three Christians, burned and looted 76 churches and Christian institutions and 50 Christian homes. Open Doors field workers met with and supported many who were effected.
Here are some of the pastors stories…
Islamic State have claimed their first attack on a church in Europe, killing a French priest. An attack like this on Christians is rare in the West, so how as Christians, can we respond?
A priest has been killed in an attack claimed by the Islamic State in France. On Tuesday 26 July, two men armed with knives entered Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray church, in Normandy, France. During morning mass the pair took the congregation hostage before forcing Father Jacques Hamel to kneel down. Witnesses say the pair then filmed themselves as they executed the priest and made a statement from the pulpit in Arabic. Continue reading
This year Open Doors is asking churches and small groups in Australia and New Zealand to participate in A Dedicated Faith. We want to see Muslims who are seeking God, find who He truly is and come learn the truth about Jesus. We also want to uplift Christians living in Islamic countries throughout Ramadan.
Ramadan, an opportune time…
Ramadan is a month in the Islamic calendar running from 6 June – 5 July. During these 30 days, Muslims will fast during sunlight hours, and pray in order to get closer to Allah. Muslim’s believe that it was during Ramadan that the first revelations of the Quran were made to Muhammad.
Boko Haram, al-Shabaab – Radical Islam’s other home
Radical Islam is widely known to be active within the Middle East and North Africa. Yet in Nigeria, Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has been labelled the world’s deadliest terror organisation. Compared to the war against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, al-Shabaab’s war in Somalia is virtually unheard of. While we know al-Qaeda works in places like Afghanistan, Australian missionaries Ken and Jocelyn Elliot were kidnapped by al-Qaeda in Burkina Faso.
Islamic extremism is on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa, yet it remains relatively unknown. Continue reading