Niger has an unusual story to tell: a military overthrow in 2010 that resulted in a new constitution and improving conditions for political and civil groups, and expanding press freedom. However, the government has responded to the Boko Haram insurgency in part with tightening restrictions on the press. The tiny fraction of the population that is Christian has not been subject to the level of violence afflicting other parts of Western Africa. Still, Niger feels Islamist pressures from Boko Haram in southern neighbour Nigeria, and from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in western neighbour Mali. Arid and bereft of many natural resources, Niger relies on international aid for nearly two-thirds of its economy – conditions that the government fears could cause impoverished citizens to yield to militant Islamist influence. In January 2015, over 70 churches were ransacked and burned down by hundreds of Islamist demonstrators angered by a cartoon published by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. In October 2016, American missionary Jeff Woodke was kidnapped from the northern town of Abalak. He is still missing.
In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, the churches in the predominantly Muslim West African nation of Niger experienced the worst attacks in their history. On the weekend of 16-17 January, hundreds of angry Islamists attacked and ransacked dozens of properties and churches, shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah […]
Nigeria’s neighbour to its north, French-speaking Niger, is the latest country to pledge its army will fight the radical Islamic group, Boko Haram. Boko Haram’s military and strategic advance has already provoked the postponement of Nigeria’s Presidential election, due to have been held this Saturday, 14 February. The election is […]
Mixed emotions were evident as members of the Christian community in Niger gathered for their services on Sunday, 25 January, 2015. Some were full of joy to get back to church; others could barely hide their sorrow. A week ago, the church bells remained silent. Ten people died during that […]
The Christian community in Niger says it is in shock in the wake of weekend violence that has claimed the lives of ten people and led to the destruction of dozens of places of worship and Christian homes. The protest, which started in the country’s second city, Zinder, on Friday […]
A 2013 church service in Niger.Courtesy Open Doors International At least five churches in southeastern Niger were ransacked and burned down Friday by hundreds of Islamist demonstrators angered by a cartoon published by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. According to local sources contacted by World Watch Monitor, hundreds of […]
The remains of the car used in the May 23 suicide attack in Agadez.World Watch Monitor Four attacks within the last three weeks in Niger have raised the spectre of a growing Islamist threat in the country. In the latest attack on Tuesday (June 11), unidentified armed men attacked […]
Niger’s Minister of Justice has blamed Boko Haram for a prison raid in capital city Niamey on June 1. Twenty-two prisoners escaped, including a member of jihadist group Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. (Fides) Related Articles:Niger’s churches rebuilt, but West African nation…Niger: pastor’s daughter kidnapped by suspected Boko…Persecution Watch countries: […]