Recession-proof Christian Life
5/27/10 at 10:37 AM 0 Comments

Church Demolition in Kano – Northern Nigeria. 20th May 2010

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"Wherever there is found a man, there is a minister free to preach. The whole world is our parish, we know of no fetter upon our feet, and no gag upon our lips. Though kings should pass laws, the servants of Christ can bear the penalty, but they cannot disobey their master, though the emperor should say the gospel should not be preached by any unauthorized denomination, as I have heard he has said of late, we care not for him. What cares the church for a thousand emperors ..."Charles Spurgeon - The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Vol. 7

My friend Mark Lipdo of Stefanos Foundations sent me the following note to share with those who care. This is based on a report by Rev. Murtala Dangora, ECWA Kano.

The Church in Kwasam, Kiru Local Government Area of Kano was founded in 1981 by the mission department of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) Kano District Church Council. The church is located right in the midst of hostile Muslims. Before now both Christians and Muslims lived together here but three years ago the Christians migrated to settle about a kilometer away from the Muslims and formed their own community. Yet these Muslims, though a kilometer away, would not permit a Church in their own community.

The Christians applied all peaceful approaches to obtain permission for their own church building but this was refused. When unsatisfied with the reasons given for refusal to grant the permit to build their place of worship, the Christians decided to go on with their project. As they attempted to lay the foundation of the church, they were arrested by the police and interrogated for erecting an illegal structure. They were later taken to a Sharia court (Islamic court) in Kiru the Local Government Headquarters and the Sharia court ruled that, the project be stopped.

The Christians hired a lawyer to appeal the ruling at the high court, but he advised that an application for permission to continue with the project would be better. But all those who were served with this application letter, the village head, district head, The Divisional Police Officer (D.P.O), and The Local Government Chairman, refused to accept the letter. The Christians then decided to go on with their project, but as soon as they started, the district head reported them to the Emir of Kano in March this year and the Emir of Kano ordered them to stop and follow the due process for permission to go on with the project. They obeyed and got their lawyer to write for the permission, but they also refused to collect the letters. Then last week, the Christians decided to go on with their building project. They started a mud building construction and were about the roofing level when The Muslim's notorious group called 'yan tauri (local warriors) came and demolished both the old church building and the new under construction, and also threatened to kill the Pastor,(Pastor Gambo Mato) who was rescued by the Police. Mal Umaru was injured on his leg during this attack. The incident happened last Thursday the 20th of May and as at today no one has been arrested..

Please pray for the members of this congregation as there is no reason why they should be hindered from building their modest place of worship...these are just unobtrusive mud buildings for the community. Please also pray for there can be no prosperity or indeed any form of progress amidst religious tension. These are not seeking to be recession-free or for any special liberties - only to be free to gather and worship in their mud huts. There is a strong link between rural poverty and lingering religious oppression ... as the poor have no voice that will be heard.

More articles on Religious Intolerance in Northern Nigeria posted in the article


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