Kano officials forbid church rebuilding 10 years after Muslim attack

Authorities in a town in northern Nigeria still have not allowed Christians to rebuild their church buildings which were burned down by Muslims when they attacked displaced believers there a decade ago.

(WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / Kaizenify)Mountain of Fire Ministry Main Entrance. 1 April 2016.

In September 2007, eight church buildings in the Muslim-majority town of Tudun Wada Dankadai in Kano State were burned by Muslim students who claimed some high school Christians were guilty of blasphemy. Nine were killed, while the buildings that included those of the Evangelical Church Winning All, Mountain of Fire and Miracle, and Deeper Christian Life Bible churches were torched down by the attackers, Morning Star News detailed.

More than 10 years have passed since the attack, and the churches in Tudun Wada Dankadai still have not been rebuilt. Joseph Opeyemi Ibinkule, a 42-year-old local, told Morning Star that Muslims have refused to allow Christians to rebuild the structures.

"Christians who have braved it and returned after the attacks in 2007 have no worship buildings up to today," said Ibinkule. "The reason is that the government of Kano state has banned us from rebuilding our churches."

In addition, Ibinkule said no pastors lived in Tudun Wada Dankadai and only a Catholic priest and the leader of ECWA come to the town to facilitate their respective services under the trees.

ECWA leaders have already taken their concerns to court over the prohibition of church reconstruction. Rev. Murtala Marti Dangora of the Christian Association of Nigeria told the publication that they were hoping to get justice.

Meanwhile, in Anambra, believers under the Northern Christian Forum gathered ahead of the Nov. 18 gubernatorial elections to tell politicians not to take them for granted. They said they wished to be included in the activities of the candidates before and after the election, Vanguard reported.

NCF president Averson Andrew noted that Muslims were recognized by the state government, but Christians were quite marginalized. He said the Christian community was prepared to participate in the elections and contribute to the development of Anambra.