On April 24, Rim Village was attacked by Muslims leaving five dead and two wounded. Rim village is named for its place on the rim of the large plateau for which Plateau State is named. It is on the Jos-Abuja road, and the Jubilee Campaign team passed through it four times during our trip to Nigeria early this February. The pictures we received in connection with this update are too graphic to show you, but we can tell you that these Christians died in their houses, resting on their beds. Some of the slain appear to have been preparing food for their children, who were also butchered.
Our contacts in this village are strong enough that within 24 hours we received the names of the dead and wounded. We ask that you please remember the families of the dead in prayer.
The Martyrs: Rose Ralyop, Dinatu Danbwarang, Simi Joseph, Christiana Samuel, & Japhet Samuel.
Please also pray for the wounded that they will recover physically as well as spiritually. Note from the family names that Patience lost her mother, and Jenipher lost her mother and brother.
The Suffering: Jenipher Samuel & Patience Joseph
To us at Jubilee Campaign, this story serves to illustrate the difference between the roles of the Christian and the Muslim communities in this conflict. Unfortunately, Westerners tend to presume that both sides are equally guilty in conflicts like these. This concept is called moral equivalency and more and more I am convinced that it is a lie used by evil to beget more evil.
These Christians had nothing against Muslims. They had not attacked anyone. They were sitting peacefully in their homes, unaware that death was coming for them. Their only crime was to be Christian, and to be near a major highway giving the killers easy access to their village. In the future, I am sure that the Christians in this area will set guards. If Muslims come to kill them again, they will defend their homes and families and some of the Muslim attackers may die.
The concept of Moral Equivalency, which is clearly one of the core dogmas of the U.S. State Department, will claim that the deaths of the Muslim attackers are in some way equivalent to the deaths of these innocents who died in their homes!
It makes me ashamed to be an American to say this, but the U.S. State Department has denied the self-evident fact that this conflict is religious, as they have done in other conflicts between radical Muslims and their victims. They have asserted that the problem is poverty and their self-proclaimed intent is to give millions of U.S. aid money into the hands of the very Muslim communal leaders who are fostering this strategy of hate. Meanwhile, they have sabotaged every effort by the Government of Nigeria, or the Christians living in the Middle Belt to accurately and effectively address this violence.
I want to be clear, the looming religious war with genocidal overtones which will splinter Nigeria, destabilizing West Africa, and polarize the continent along religious lines is not inevitable. Yet every day that our nation continues on this foolish and false policy of denial, empowering the aggressors and punishing the victims, we make war and even genocide that much more likely. I pray that we recognize our errors soon and change course before it is too late.