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Published On: Fri, Jan 23rd, 2015

Africa: Charlie Hebdo protests in Niger leave 10 dead, churches burned down

At least 10 people have been killed in violent protests in Niger over the weekend, says new report from missionaries in the African nation. Muslim mobs burned down a number of churches in retaliation to French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo publishing cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

Christian missionaries in the capital, Niamey, told International Christian Concern that “all of [their] churches have been burned along with the pastors’ homes … almost every church [they] know or are associated with has been attacked.” The missionaries, who despite seeing smoke “around all sides of [their] house,” remain in Niamey.

Niger Image/CIA

Niger
Image/CIA

“Jesus said: ‘I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.’ We are confident that this persecution will only grow the church and the Gospel in Niger,” the missionaries continued.

Al Jazeera reported that the violent demonstrations took place in Nioamey, and at least five people on Saturday died inside churches and bars that were set on fire. Another five people are reported to have died on Friday.

The protests apparently began at Niamey’s grand mosque, BBC News said, and at least six churches were burned down in the attack.

Pastor Zakaria Jadi, who runs one of the churches burnt down in the attack, said that he was in a meeting with other church elders when he heard of the riots.

“I just rushed and told my colleagues in the church to take away their families from the place,” Jadi said. “I took my family to take them out from the place. When I came back I just discovered that everything has gone. There’s nothing in my house and also in the church.”

Charlie Hebdo’s decision to feature a drawing of Muhammad in its first cover last week following the Paris attack caused much debate. While mass crowds across France have stood behind the magazine’s freedom of speech, some, like Salah-Aldeen Khadr, executive producer of Al Jazeera English, suggested that the decision will only further increase tensions.

new Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoonCharlie Hebdo Muhammad cover after Paris terrorist attacks

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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