Saturday, April 18, 2015

Christians in Niger Forgive Muslims Who Burned Churches and Killed Believers: 'We Want Them to Know Jesus Christ'

ICC Note: Christians in Niger are praying that Muslim attackers who have persecuted them would turn from Sauls to Pauls, repenting of their attacks on followers of Christ and putting their faith in Jesus. After the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo printed images of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in mid-January, Muslims in Niger rioted, burning Christian churches and looting Christian homes. Now months later, those who were attacked are seeking to extend forgiveness and the love of Christ to those who have offended them.

By Leah Marieanne Klett

4/17/2015 Niger (The Gospel Herald) - Christians living in Niger, West Africa have offered Christ-like forgiveness to the radical Muslims who destroyed their homes and churches, are are continuing to share the Gospel in the region.

On January 17,  hundreds of Muslims, angered by the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad published by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, destroyed 69 churches and 11 Christian homes. Ten Christians lost their lives and hundreds more were injured in the wake of the deadly rampage.

"They took pews, Bibles, chairs and sound equipment then set them on fire," said Pastor Musa Issa, whose church, Bethel Horizon, was among those destroyed. "They did this while chanting, 'Allahu Akbar!' I felt so sad. I started to cry."

He added, "I feel horrible...I ask myself 'Why'? Why did they do this to us? What did we do to deserve this?'"

Now, three months later, Christians living in the region are working to rebuild their community, determined to still preach the Gospel despite the dangers.

"My prayer is that they would come to know Jesus and that the Lord would touch them even in a dream," Ruth, Pastor Issa's wife, told CBN. "I want God to do to them what He did to Paul the Apostle when he persecuted Christians. God touched him on his way to Damascus. I want those men to experience the same touch from God!" ...