Two Adventists Reported Killed
in Jos, Nigeria Riots

Six  member families’ homes burned; police guard church building
wo members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the area of Jos in Nigeria’s Plateau State have been killed in a violent uprising that took place in early March 2010, a local conference official has revealed. Six other Adventist families have had their homes burned, Abednego Chidawa, treasurer of the North East Nigeria Conference, said, according to retired Adventist missionary Børge Schantz.
HAPPIER DAYS: A newly constructed Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jos, Nigeria, which police guarded during recent rioting. [PHOTO: Børge Schantz]

Schantz, who served in the region during his time as a missionary, and has preached in outreach campaigns in the area in recent years, heard from Chidawa after the rioting, which killed as many as 600 people, according to media reports. Schantz said the North East Nigeria Conference’s offices are situated in the Jos area, where some of the worst rioting occurred. “An Adventist police officer protected the conference offices during the uprisings,” he said. “And a newly built church was [also] guarded by the local police forces.”

According to Eric Gutschuss of Human Rights Watch, the violence in the area continues to affect Christians: “The latest killings in Nigeria’s restive Plateau State took place in the early morning hours of March 7, when groups of men armed with guns, machetes, and knives attacked residents of the villages of Dogo Nahawa, Zot, and Ratsat, 10 kilometers south of Jos, the capital of Plateau State. The dead included scores of women and children,” he said.

ASSIST News Service, which interviewed Gutschuss, reported that “Human Right Watch (HRW) has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to make sure that the massacre of … Christian villagers in central Nigeria on Sunday, March 7, 2010, is thoroughly and promptly investigated and that those responsible are prosecuted.”

According to Schantz, Adventists have a sizeable presence in Plateau State, where six of every 10 people are Christian and where the governor is a Christian as well. “In the area there are about 24,000 Adventist church members worshipping in 77 churches and 85 companies,” Schantz said.

Local police guarded both the conference office and a newly constructed church, Schantz said.

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