A Catholic church in Niger State, northern Nigeria, was attacked by Muslim youths on Friday (15 July).

Eyewitnesses told the Daily Post that people who had gone to the church to pray were attacked by Muslims claiming that Friday was their day of prayer and that Christians only had the right to worship on Sundays.

Witnesses said the attackers destroyed church properties, including doors and windows, before the police were able to get there.

Rev. Luka Sylvester Gopep, the Vicar-General of the Diocese, confirmed the incident.

“Sometime around 2pm, some Muslim youths in their hundreds left their mosque after their Friday Jumat prayer and rushed to the church premises, climbed the wall and destroyed everything in the church: the windows, the altar, musical instruments, the chapel.

“The security man in the church premises was beaten to a pulp. Some women holding a prayer meeting were chased away. The seminarian, who is resident in the premises, was also beaten up and chased away,” he said.

This is only the most recent of several attacks on Christians in recent weeks. On 30 May in Pandogari, in the Rafi local government area of Niger state, Methodus Chimaije Emmanuel, 24, was attacked and killed by a mob, after allegedly posting a blasphemous statement about Muhammad on social media. Three other people, including a police officer, lost their lives as a result of violence that followed the killing. A church and a house were burnt down and 25 shops were looted.