Bandits Write Letter to Zamfara Christians – Close Church or Risk Attack

According to unique information obtained by SaharaReporters, a group of bandits has written to the Christian community in Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria, advising them to close churches or face severe attacks.

“We are on top of the issue,” the Zamfara State police command told reporters when asked about the threat.

DSP Mohammed Shehu, a spokesman for the command, told reporters that the police were aware of the threat letter.

He said, “Yes, I can confirm that it’s true, a threat letter was sent to the Christians in Zamfara State to stop worship and to close churches.

“Actually the police informed the Christian leaders about the threat.

“Accordingly the CP has invited the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state to discuss security measures around the churches.

“In that regard, a special squad has been created by the CP to patrol and protect worshippers, especially on Sundays.

“Additionally, plain-clothes personnel have been deployed for intelligence gathering and to unravel those behind the threat letter,” he said.

On Sunday, a Christian leader who spoke on the condition of anonymity asked Christians all over the world to pray for Christians in Zamfara and other parts of northern Nigeria.

He explained “Let us pray for Christians in Northern Nigeria, particularly in Zamfara State, where we have been given a three-year deadline to close all churches.”

“Some churches were designated for attack between now and the end of December, albeit the churches targeted by the Fulani group that authored the letter are on the outskirts of town, but we suspect it’s a ruse.”

“Same letter was also copied to the Police, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other security agencies and they all Confirmed receipt of the letter.

“The police in the state have directed Christians to intensify security in all places of worship, pastors’ houses, other Christian centres.

“Christian Association Nigeria (CAN) in Zamfara State has also directed all churches not to hold church activities beyond 5pm for the next three months,” he said.

As things stand, some Christians are contemplating leaving Zamfara State for safer areas.

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