Christians in the Niger are still reeling from the recent anti-Christian violence as their fellow Muslims as they emit their anger over the Charlie Hebdo caricatures.
According to media reports, no less than 70 churches were set on fire by the angry protestors while they protested against the Charlie Hebdo caricatures. The recent caricatures published in the magazine have provoked Muslims all over the world.
The World Watch Monitor reports that at least 10 people were killed during the violence. While local police reports only 45 churches damaged, World Watch Monitor claimed that there were more than 70 churches that sustained damage.
It was on January 16, in the city of Zinder, where agitated protestors destroyed eight churches and 12 homes owned by Christians. These angry Muslim protestors did not spare schools that were built by Christians, as the mob looted two of these. After Zinder, the attacks spread out to other cities. In Goure, the city’s only church was set on fire. The local Christians fled and took refuge in the army barracks for protection.
On the other hand, infuriated protesters in Tanout destroyed two churches maintained by Evangelical Christians, while in Magaria one church was completely annihilated by the mob. In Maradi, the mob destroyed two Evangelical churches. Despite the efforts of security forces, one small Fulani church in Birnin Gaoure fell to the attacks.
Three more churches were destroyed in Birnin Gaoure as the violence reached Niger’s capital, Niamey, where 1,000 Muslims attacked Christians and churches across the city.
What is more, the World Watch Monitor claims that security forces in the capital reluctantly made no response, so as a result Christians, churches and Christian-owned properties were soft targets for the mob. However, Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou condemned the attacks on Saturday evening and said that the attackers were people who “did not understand anything about Islam.”