Blasphemy: Pastor narrowly escapes death in Bauchi, ECWA destroyed

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*Bauchi governor, Mr. Bala Mohammed

Barely two weeks after the stoning to death of Deborah Samuel, a student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, over alleged blasphemy, irate Muslim youths in Katangan area of Warji local government of Bauchi State injured a pastor and destroyed properties in the area over the same offence.

It was learnt that their target was a Christian lady who was alleged to have committed sacrilege against Prophet Mohammed.

It was also gathered that the rampaging Muslim youths mounted a search for the lady immediately after the yesterday’s (Friday) Jummaat prayers but could not find her.

Furious that they could not locate her, the youths vent their spleen on properties belonging to Christians in area.

They allegedly torched some buildings, attacked the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA ), where a pastor was injured.

Premium Times quoted an unnamed source as saying that trouble started when a message was allegedly circulated on the social media that a Christian girl in the town allegedly engaged in blasphemy of Islam.

It was also gathered that it was one of youths who recently got converted from Christianity to Islam who allegedly raised the alarm of the alleged blasphemy by the Christian lady and led other Muslim youths in search of her.

“Yes, the incident is true. It is an aftermath of the incident of the alleged blasphemy that happened in Sokoto last week.

“What I learnt was that a Christian girl allegedly posted and commented on something on social media which has to do with the incident in Sokoto and that was how it started.

“The situation there is more than tension since many houses have been burnt down. But no life that was lost, to the best of my knowledge.

“A shop which belongs to an ECWA Church in the area was also burnt down. And I learnt that the District Head of the area and the leaders are on top of the situation. The police have also been informed about it,” the paper reported.

The online newspaper also quoted another source as saying: “We were at home this evening when we heard shouts from some Muslim youths in their numbers who went on the rampage and besieged an ECWA Church in the area.

“But Christian youths and others resisted and repelled them but that was after they had burnt down a shop attached to the church. Many houses were burnt down by the rampaging youths.

“In the process, one of the pastors of the ECWA church was seriously wounded; as I speak to you now, efforts are on to save his life.”

One of the leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the state also confirmed the incident to journalists in a telephone interview.

He said that the commissioner of police in the state and the senior special assistant to the Bauchi State Governor on Christian Religious Affairs were aware of the incident.

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