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Friday, 11 January 2013

So where were the Christians?

Bombings across Pakistan killed more than one hundred and fifteen people yesterday, including eighty-one in an attack on a snooker hall in the troubled south-western city of Quetta, in one of the country's bloodiest days in recent years. Some of those who went to help victims of an alleged suicide-bomber were, themselves killed as a car-bomb exploded.

On the same day, the co-founder of the Kurdish PKK separatist movement and two other female activists were found dead in Paris on Thursday in a suspected assassination that has dealt a blow to "historic" peace talks between the movement and the Turkish government. 

Last month, a twenty-three-year-old student was gang-raped on a Delhi bus, and died from the horrific injuries she sustained in the attack - an attack in which her male companion was also badly beaten.

Each of these incidents, involving Muslims and Hindus, have been widely reported in the British media, and there can be no decent person who is not appalled at such wanton, and destructive, behaviour by other human beings who seem to be intent on delivering death and destruction, or on satisfying their own physical lust, regardless of the cost to their victims.

However, I must have missed the reports in the British media concerning Nigeria where at least twelve Christians were killed in Christmas Eve church attacks in northern Nigeria, and fifteen others were murdered in their sleep on Dec.28th.  Boko Haram (Islamist) militants are suspected in both cases. On Christmas Eve, gunmen opened fire during a time of prayer at the Church of Christ in Nations in Jiri village, Yobe province, killing five worshippers and the pastor. The attackers also set the church on fire, and several other Christians were seriously injured. On the same night, a deacon and five other Christians were killed at the First Baptist Church in Maiduguri, Borno state. Four days later, attackers invaded the homes of Christians in Musari, outside Maiduguri, and slit the throats of fifteen Christians during the early morning hours. A number of Christians had moved to the Musari area to get away from the violence in Maiduguri. This is the third consecutive year that Christians in the north have been violently attacked during the Christmas season. Understandably, church buildings in northern Nigeria were nearly empty on Christmas Day.  

So where, in the British media, were the reports of these, and other, atrocities?  Could it be that, in a country with such a rich Christian heritage, everyone else is important, but that Christians are not?

Perhaps editors of newspapers, and of television and radio news, and current affairs, programmes would be willing to check out what is happening to people of all belief-systems, rather than apparently discriminate against some!

PS  Apologies if this is displaying in upper-case letters only.  This is not the case as I type but is in the preview!  Any expert advice, as a comment, will be gratefully received!

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