by Dan Wooding
Breaking Christian News
As a result of the vicious Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris, France, Niger, a normally peaceful nation, erupted in violent protest in late January that led to 84 churches being burned down, and at least 10 people being killed...
...John Coquerel, West Africa Regional Coordinator for GRN has now paid a visit to Niger to access the damage, and he said in his report about what he called "the incredible violence" in the country, "More than 84 churches and missions were burned of which many destroyed to the ground after being robbed and ransacked. More than 69 houses and stores knew the same treatment...
...Coquerel then pointed out what "God has done with this disastrous situation," citing:
1. No Christian has lost their life. The deaths WERE ALL Muslims who ended up killing each other in the violence and confusion (Photo via ANS)
2. About the material losses, there is hope that the government will compensate the victims, one way or another. It's not an absolute certainty but there are signs of hope. Niger authorities have already helped by lodging the victims who have lost their house and by giving food to them. Some Christian organizations such as African Service, Samaritan's Purse and SIM have also helped in providing food.
3. This turmoil has led to a revival first in Christian community. Those who have stopped going to church by laziness woke up and started attending church again. Their faith has been refreshed somehow.
4. Above all it's in Muslim communities that marvelous things are happening. Many of the Muslims were shocked by the terror they are capable of. Christian leaders have publicly offered their forgiveness to the authors of the terrorist acts. This forgiveness has profoundly marked the Muslims. They have hard time to believe it. They say: "If it was the Christians who have committed, say less than 10% of what has happened, we are going to kill them all. How can you forgive such acts?" In amazement, an Imam called a Pastor and asked him: "Is your forgiveness real? Isn't it that you are planning your revenge in the guise of forgiveness? If it's real, expect many to come to your church. We're watching you." It's exactly what's happening. Muslims, curious and astonished, now go to church, seeking to know the God of the Christians, the God who asks his people to forgive. Many of them start buying the Bible and read it.
5. An anecdote: In a Christian Bible store, the sales clerk advised her Muslim client: "Don't you want to buy a cover for your Bible, so that you can read it without bringing attention to you?" The client responded: "No, thanks. I will read it openly. Let's them tell me I don't have the right to read it." This story indicates to us that the fear of reading the Bible is diminishing among Muslims. Let's pray that this emancipation lasts and would not be the fruit of one season.