As the world reacts to the news of the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces, Christians minorities in Muslim countries are fearful that they will be the targets of reprisal attacks for the killing, reports International Christian Concern.
In Pakistan, the Christian community has been apprehensive after an Islamic radical group, Tehreek-Taliban Pakistan, issued a statement threatening attacks to retaliate for the killing of bin Laden.
The Anglican Bishop of Gojra, John Samuel, described the anxiety of the Christians when he told ICC that “due to the perception that U.S. is a Christian country, the Christians in Pakistan have been under a major threat and have even been attacked. Due to this, Christians have been very apprehensive.”
There is similar climate of fear among Christians in the northern Nigeria. On May 2, hundreds of Muslims in the northern Nigeria city of Kaduna staged a protest denouncing the killing of bin Laden. Many Christians fled to military barracks and police stations seeking protection.
Reverend Murpala Bambora, pastor of an evangelical church in Kanu, explained to ICC that many Christians were fleeing “because Muslims in the past have reacted with the killing of Christians and the destruction of their properties when there is problem affecting Muslims somewhere else. When there is a problem against the Muslim community elsewhere, they want to retaliate on Christians” in Nigeria, he said.
The majority of the Christians who ran to the military barracks and police stations have returned to their homes after the military was deployed to prevent an eruption of violence. But there are still several Christians remaining in the barracks, choosing not to take any chance until the situation calms down.
“Christian minorities living in Muslim countries are seen as soft targets,” said the ICC. “Muslim radicals use every available opportunity to incite violence against Christians. It is high time for the international community to recognize the precarious situation of the Christian minorities in Islamic countries and ensure their protection.”
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