Nigeria: Cathedral attacked after arrests over ‘blasphemy’ killing

May 20, 2022

On May 13, reported on the murder of Deborah Samuel, a Nigerian Christian student who was accused of “blasphemy.”

After arrests were made in connection with that killing, the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral in Sokoto, where Samuel was murdered, and another church were attacked. The attacks were in explicit retaliation for the arrests.

For information about Orthodox Christianity in Nigeria, see here.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria from, see here.

“Catholic cathedral attacked in Nigeria after arrests over ‘blasphemy’ killing,” CNA, May 15, 2022:

A mob has attacked a Catholic cathedral in Nigeria amid protests demanding the release of two suspects in the killing of a Christian student.

The Diocese of Sokoto said in a statement that youths targeted Holy Family Catholic Cathedral in Sokoto, north-west Nigeria, after police arrested two students in connection with the murder of Deborah Samuel.

Samuel, a student at Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, was beaten and burned on May 11 after being accused of posting “blasphemous” statements about Islam in a WhatsApp group.

The Sokoto diocese said: “The Sokoto State Government has declared a 24-hour curfew to help stem the ongoing protests embarked upon by Muslim youth in the state capital today.”

“During the protest, groups of youths led by some adults in the background attacked the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral at Bello Way, destroying church glass windows, those of the Bishop Lawton Secretariat and vandalized a community bus parked within the premises.”

“St. Kevin’s Catholic Church, Gidan Dere, Eastern By-pass, was also attacked and partly burnt; windows of the new hospital complex under construction, in the same premises, were shattered.”

“They were promptly dispersed by a team of mobile policemen before they could do further damage.”

“The hoodlums also attacked the Bakhita Centre located along Aliyu Jodi Road and burnt down a bus within the premises.”

Sokoto Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah thanked state governor Aminu Tambuwal for imposing the curfew to quell protests, as well as the security forces for preventing further damage to diocesan facilities….