Christians in Niger Rebuild

NIAMEY (Worthy News – Feb 3)– Christians in Niger are meeting in private homes protected by police as they plan to rebuild the churches damaged by Islamic protests during the weekend of Jan. 16-18, according to Morning Star News.

Muslims decrying the depictions of the prophet of Islam by the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine destroyed 72 church buildings and killed at least 10 people in the former French colony. The violent protests spread to the capital city of Niamey where nearly every church was burned or looted along with several schools and orphanages.

The Rev. Mai’aki Kadaidai, president of the Evangelical Church in the Niger Republic, said attacks on Christians and churches had spread across five regions.

“This is the first time we are witnessing violence of this magnitude against the church and Christians,” Kadaidai said. “The Muslim rioters destroyed five of our churches, destroyed four homes of our pastors and many of our members were adversely affected.”

Muslims also looted shops and attacked bars and hotels that were of French origin, or owned by non-Muslims.

Muslims make up about 98 percent of Niger’s population and had lived peacefully with the nation’s minuscule Christian minority.