Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group, invaded the off campus hostel of Federal Polytechnic College in northern Nigeria late Monday, allegedly separated Muslim students from Christians and massacred up to 30 Christian students.
The attack took place in the city of Mubi in remote Adamawa State, located in northeastern Nigeri, Open Doors reports.
According to Voice of America (VOA), the students were systemically slaughtered after being individually questioned. One witness told VOA that the killings took place due to a recent controversy over student elections, but that couldn’t be confirmed.
Daniel Babayi, the executive secretary of the Northern States Christian Association of Nigeria, told VOA that he believed the killings were a reprisal attack after 156 people were arrested and accused of being members of Boko Haram in late September.
Open Doors reports that the parents and families of the victims are in mourning and in “indescribable pain.”
“Open Doors is calling on Christians in the West to bear this horrific burden with our brothers and sisters in Mubi and Adamawa state,” says Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra. “Nigeria is becoming a killing field. According to Associated Press, Boko Haram has been responsible for almost 700 deaths this year, although it has yet to make a statement claiming responsibility for the attack on Monday night.
“Many of those 700 victims are Christians. Boko Haram’s stated aim is to drive all Christians out of Nigeria and set up Sharia law in all of Nigeria.
“Please pray for the parents, families and friends of the innocent victims of this slaughter. Pray that they will receive the comfort only our Lord can give. Pray that justice will prevail. Pray that Christians will not retaliate.”
The State Department’s 2011 International Religious Freedom Report released a few weeks ago stated: “In Nigeria, attacks by elements of the violent extremist sect Boko Haram claimed the lives of both Christians and Muslims. The government did not effectively quell rising hostility or investigate and prosecute those responsible for violence.”
Nigeria is ranked No. 13 on the 2012 Open Doors World Watch List of 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians. According to the World Watch List, Nigeria had at least 300 martyrs in 2011, although the actual number could be closer to 1,000.