“The blood is still there. It’s still spread all over the floor.”
Joel Veldkamp, head of international communications at persecution watchdog Christian Solidarity International (CSI), shared these chilling words while discussing the vile attack on a Nigerian church Sunday that left at least 50 dead.
“It was Pentecost Sunday in Nigeria, so the church was full of people,” Veldkamp said. “According to one report, the gunmen snuck in disguised as worshippers. And then other gunmen arrived on motorcycles from the outside and started shooting from the outside, and then the ones who were already inside the congregation started shooting as well.”
The assailants then reportedly placed bombs on the altar and around the church before detonating them.
So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, though some reports ponder whether radical Islamic terror groups could be culpable. The location of the attack — in a southwest region of Nigeria — is one of the factors that adds to the “distressing and disturbing” details, as that area is typically peaceful and unaffected by the terror that has gripped portions of northern Nigeria.
“There are a lot of fears that this is going to open up a new chapter in anti-Christian terrorism in Nigeria,” Veldkamp said.
Renewed critique emerged last month after a Muslim mob reportedly fatally stoned Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu, a 25-year-old Christian college student of Shehu Shagari College of Education was beaten and burned to death in Sokoto Nigeria, Friday, May 13, 2022, by fellow Muslim students after she was accused of making a blasphemous social media post.