Christians attacked after blasphemy allegation
Barnabas Fund, 24 May 2022
Several Christians were injured and homes destroyed by a mob of Muslims in Bauchi State, Nigeria, after a Christian woman was accused of blasphemy in a WhatsApp message.
The woman, Rhoda Jatau, had shared a video in which a Ghanaian convert from Islam protested the killing of a Christian student Deborah Samuel (who was stoned and clubbed to death in Sokoto State after allegedly insulting Muhammad) and allegedly made disparaging remarks about Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.
A group of young Muslims people searched for Jatau after Friday prayers on 20 May, but she had already been moved to a safe location.
The Muslims then attacked the Christian community, injuring several Christians including the pastor of a local church. They tried to burn down the church building but, being unable to get access, set fire to adjacent buildings.
The mob also looted Christian shops and businesses, as well as setting more fires.
Bala Mohammed, the governor of Bauchi State, has ordered security forces onto the streets in an attempt to preserve order. “My administration has a special regard for peace and religious tolerance and I will not fold my arms to allow unpatriotic people cause trouble in any part of the state,” he said.