Reposted with Permission from www.carlchinn.com
While the focus of this website remains on U.S. faith-based organizations, I occasionally look up and consider ministry violence going on around the world. Unfortunately there is more to consider during the Christmas season each year.
Every professional I’ve spoken with in our industry agrees that what we see in the global theater is a glimpse into the future of incidents on U. S. soil to some degree. As unrealistic as it would be to conclude America would see the same frequency of Christianity focused terrorism as in under-developed regions, it would be naïve – even reckless -- to dismiss such events as entirely irrelevant to home soil considerations.
As quoted before on this website, the bipartisan 9/11 commission issued the following statement regarding a very real and determined radical enemy we should not too quickly forget or too lightly consider;
“We learned about an enemy who is sophisticated, patient, disciplined and lethal…its hostility toward us and our values is limitless. Its purpose is to rid the world of religious and political pluralism, the plebiscite and equal rights for women”[i].
While politically incorrect to tag that enemy what it is – radical Islam – that is the right label. With that in mind, look at what happened recently in Nigeria.
Concerns about anti-Christian attacks were expressed by many in Iraq, Pakistan and other volatile regions in the days leading up to Christmas, 2011. But on Christmas day, it was Nigeria where the worst violence erupted.
Coordinated attacks by the Islamic Extremist sect -- Boko Haram -- occurred in the Nigerian settlements of Jos, Madalla, Kano, Gadaka and the Yobe State Headquarters in Damaturu. The months leading up to these attacks were full of violence from the Boko Haram that left Christian churches and other targets burning across Nigeria, and a death toll climbing exponentially.
At one of the Christmas day attacks -- St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla (near Abuja) -- the death toll is reported as 37, with another 57 wounded in various stages of seriousness. At this site, the only known surviving security operative reported that the suicide bomber drove a late model, clean looking Toyota Camry into the crowd of congregants as they came out of the church after services. The vehicle bomb detonated upon contacting people.
There was little time for anyone to do anything but die.
Think About It…
- The man recognized as the only surviving security person at the St. Theresa’s Catholic Church indicated the suicide bomber had his un-tinted windows rolled up and may have been saying his “last prayers” or “incantations” as he accelerated towards the crowd resisting efforts of all police and security persons (most of whom perished when the car exploded) trying to stop him.
- How would your outside team deal with a person acting anything like the driver of the Toyota Camry at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Nigeria?
- An explosion deadly enough to have killed as many people as it did, would likely have weighted the car down noticeably. Are your security people trained on what to look for?
- Boko Haram is loosely translated as “Western education is sacrilege” or “Western learning is forbidden” or “Western education is outlawed” or “Western education is sinful” depending on how the Hausa dialect of the Chadic language is converted. I think we all get the message of their mission.
- Does anyone doubt that such violence around the world is not indicative of radical anti-Christian plans for U.S. based churches?