Persecution Watchdog on Christian Response to Church Bombings in Nigeria [Excerpts]
A deadly church bombing related to an Easter service held in Nigeria has once again prompted a persecution watchdog to ask for prayers aimed at helping Christians in the country respond to the violence appropriately.
"It's obviously deliberate when on Christmas Day and on Easter Sunday you have these violent attacks against churches and Christians. It's not coincidental," Open Doors Senior Communications Specialist Paul Estabrooks [said April 9]. "The big challenge is how do you overcome evil with good biblically and non-violently?"
At least 38 people were killed Sunday as a suicide car bomber detonated powerful explosives on a busy road outside a church that was holding a morning Easter service.
The bomber apparently wanted to target All Nations Christian Assembly Church in Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna state, as churchgoers worshipped. ECWA Good News Church in the neighborhood was also affected.
Estabrooks said that Christians in Nigeria are really struggling with how to respond to the attacks. Some fear Christians will lash out with their own violence and others are fearful that Christians will become too passive.
"As we ask for prayer for Nigeria, a specific prayer request would be that Christians in Nigeria learn how to respond to these challenges neither just passively – turn the other cheek and not doing anything – or violently," he said. "There is a third way and that is what is called 'just peacemaking’.”