Displaying items by tag: terrorist attacks
Between 20 November and 3 December, at least thirty Christians were killed, and ten young women and girls raped, in attacks on five villages by the extremist Allied Democratic Forces. Locals described scenes of terrified Christians flooding into the streets as the jihadists surrounded churches, armed with guns, clubs, machetes, swords and axes. Fourteen Christians with severe wounds are in hospital in a critical condition, and at least fifteen people were abducted. A survivor, hiding in the latrine, watched through a vent as his wife and three children were murdered. A pastor In Mayitike said the militants tried to force villagers to convert to Islam before killing them. When his family refused to convert, they shot his wife in the head and cut their four children into pieces with a sword.
Two explosions rocked Tunis on 27 June, targeting security positions. One blast struck a security vehicle in a busy area of the capital, while the second targeted a police building. A number of police personnel and three civilians were killed. Tunisia has been battling militant groups operating in remote areas near the border with Algeria since an uprising overthrew autocratic leader Zine Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. Since the revolution, dozens of the security forces and 59 foreign tourists have been killed. After an IS-claimed suicide bombing killed twelve presidential guards in 2015, Tunisia has been under a state of emergency. Tunisians made up a large component of the foreign fighters in IS, while the porous border with neighbouring Libya has also aided militants. Spiritually Tunisians are being exposed to the truth of the gospel as they interact with believers on social media sites and search Christian websites.
Following New Zealand’s terror attack, there have been six recorded incidents in just seven days. In Israel two rockets launched from Gaza terrorised residents around Tel Aviv; explosions and sirens were heard throughout the region. Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. Two Israelis were killed in another terror attack, and two days later a shooting attack on an Israeli bus traumatised passengers. In the Netherlands a gunman opened fire inside a tram, killing three and injuring others. In Kashmir 44 soldiers were killed and dozens injured by Pakistan terrorists. In Stanwell, UK, a far-right terrorist was arrested for attempted murder and racially aggravated public order. American experts say white nationalist threats are growing. Prayer leader Brian Mills says, ‘Satan undermines truth, is full of self-importance, is vehemently anti-Jewish and anti-Christian, seeks to interrupt our communication with God, and is a terrorist! We see a spirit of violence, intrinsic within Islam, being turned outwards.’
An ‘extremist, right-wing terrorist’ has been arrested and named as the main suspect in connection with shootings at two mosques in Christchurch on 15 March; 49 were killed and at least 20 injured. The shooting was the deadliest in the country's history; prime minister Jacinda Ardern called it one of NZ's ‘darkest days’. One gunman live-streamed footage of his rampage to Facebook, filmed with a head-mounted camera. The footage showed him firing indiscriminately at men, women and children from close range inside the Al-Noor mosque. The suspect, who identified himself as Australian, is understood to have published a hate-filled manifesto outlining his intentions and espousing far-right and anti-immigrant ideology. Even though he did this one month ago, he had not been put on any watch list.
IS has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings in three Indonesian churches, killing at least 13 people and injuring dozens of others. According to police, the suicide bombers were all members of the same family: a mother and two daughters aged nine and 12 detonated their bombs in one church, while the father and two sons, aged 16 and 18, targeted two other churches. The Santa Maria Catholic Church was attacked first, then the Surabaya Centre Pentecostal Church and the Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church. The fact that a family, including children and teenagers, carried out these attacks is part of what makes them so shocking. A family should be a place of love and safety - and yet this one was used to inspire hatred and violence. But there is another family that we are a part of: God’s worldwide family of the church. Our brothers and sisters in Surabaya need our prayers and support today. Many are grieving, many are injured, many are scared.
Arriving in pickup trucks and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’, suspected Islamist terrorists in coordinated attacks struck both the French embassy and the army headquarters in Burkina Faso's capital on 2 March. There was great confusion, especially near the embassy, and gunfire continued until midday. At least 90 were wounded in the attacks. Five of the extremists were killed near the embassy, and three others near the army headquarters. Landlocked Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in Africa, shares a border with Mali where Islamic terrorism has been an ongoing threat. President Macron of France visited the country three months ago: it is a former French colony, and has not experienced the same level of violence as some of its neighbours. So far no group has claimed responsibility; it could be an organised group or local insurgents. Please pray for all the wounded to experience complete healing physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
On 9 December it will be one year since the attack on the Christmas market in Berlin. Europe is on a high level of alert for possible terrorist attacks. In many countries there will be Christmas bazaars, street nativity scenes, carols, and other seasonal events. Pray for God to give a double portion of wisdom and discernment to police and military personnel as they work to keep our borders and streets free of terrorists and terror attacks. Pray for God’s perfect networking and communication between those whose job is to detect dangerous individuals, identify and safeguard potential soft targets, and monitor distrusted individuals. May there be early detection of any planned attacks this Christmas. In England in 2016 combat teams worked undercover to protect Christmas shoppers from an attack in London’s Oxford Street. Pray for the success and protection of all undercover workers this Christmas season.