Christians in Nigeria return to their homes after being displaced by the Islamic insurgent group Boko Haram.
Under the alias Isaac, a church worker, told World Watch Monitor that Boko Haram almost completly destroyed communities where approximately two million people live. The Nigerian government is now encouraging them to return home.
Isaac added that many Christians wanted to come back to their communities since staying at the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps placed them under pressure to convert to Islam just to get food. Living with friends or other hosts was not easier because they rely on goodwill of businessmen or other Christians.
Boko Haram still attacked these communities from time to time but the Christians prefer to go home. “The first thing I noticed after arriving was the great emotional strain on the returnees. A lucky few were able to reunite with family members, but many widows and orphans experienced afresh what life without their lost loved ones really means,” Isaac disclosed.
He told that Boko Haram destroyed the community’s source of water, homes, schools, health center and churches to make living in the area difficult. One pastor revealed that there wasn’t a single Bible left after the insurgents burned everything.
“But desperation was matched by determination. These Christians refuse to let the challenges stop them from taking back their homes,” said Isaac. “They are rebuilding houses with materials like corn stalks, wood, grass and mud. It’s a far cry from the more permanent structures Boko Haram destroyed, but it’s a roof over their heads that offers protection against the elements.”
Despite the struggles, Isaac reported that the local Christians still continued to rebuild their church houses and perform church activities. They even sit on the ground and gather under the trees for some fellowship.
Christiantimescom. (2016). Christiantimescom. http://christiantimes.com/article/christians-in-nigeria-rebuild-lives-in-communities-shattered-by-boko-haram-attacks/60911.htm
Condocontrollercom. (2016). Condocontrollercom. http://condocontroller.com/news/Christians-Return-to-Rebuild-Lives-in-Communities-Liberated-from-Boko-Haram/