Boko Haram: 1,125 churches razed by Insurgents
A Christian denomination based mostly in the Northeast, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, otherwise known in Hausa language as Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa A Nigeria (EYN), has appealed to the federal government to rebuild its church branches razed by Boko Haram insurgents.
The EYN says Boko Haram has destroyed a total of 1,125 of its church buildings and other structures over the years of insurgency. These include its headquarters office complex, which has been rebuilt, a church auditorium which is yet to be fully reconstructed, and an adjacent pastor’s residential quarters where reconstructions work is yet to start.
The noted that buildings at the headquarters were destroyed on October 29, 2014 by Boko Haram, forcing the EYN to move its headquarters to Jos, Plateau State. It returned to its original base, Kwarhi, in 2016.
The President of the EYN, Rev Joel Billi, made the appeal for the reconstruction of all its destroyed churches, on Tuesday during the 2019 Ministers’ Annual Conference which took place at the EYN headquarters in Kwarhi, Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State, asking the Adamawa and federal governments to expedite action in rebuilding places of worship, houses and shops that were destroyed by the Boko Haram elements.
Expressing some measure of anger as he inched further into his speech, the EYN president asked, “For how long are we going to wait in vain? We are tired of fictitious promises. Are worship places not included in the rebuilding of the Northeast? Is Adamawa State excluded from the rebuilding of the Northeast?
“Why are we flagrantly neglected as if we deserve to be punished? If not for the inadequacy of our security forces and political undertone, Boko Haram would not have overrun us. So, why do we pay for the sin that was not committed by us?”
The EYN 2019 Ministers’ Conference, conducted under the theme, Understanding the Gravity of the Pastoral Call, drew 836 pastors of the church branches, all dressed in white frocks.
A highlight of Tuesday’s event of the EYN Ministers’ Conference was the commissioning of the newly rebuilt headquarters office complex, performed by the Adamawa State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Stephen Mamza.