A female assistant pastor was killed in the early hours of Saturday while preaching in the Kubwa region in Nigeria.
Eunice Elisha (42), the mother of seven and wife of Pastor Olawale Elisha, belonged to the Redeemed Church of God. According to her husband, she left her home around 5 am on Saturday morning and gone out to preach as usual. Mr Elisha told local media that two of his sons who were at football practice heard that a woman was killed while preaching.
“I told my children that it couldn’t be their mother, but they insisted we should go there and check,” Elisha said. But when he arrived at the church a police officer confirmed a killing had taken place and that the body had been taken to a police station in Kubwa, on the outskirts of Abuja.
Sadly, when he arrived at the police station, he saw his wife’s body in the back of a police van. “At this point, my children and I burst into tears.”
Elisha described his wife as a zealous Christian who “was committed to anything that was of God”.
He also told media, “I see her as a martyr who died for Christ.” He said that whether or not the attackers are caught they should be forgiven. “My prayer is that if they can accept Christ it will be a gain for Christ.”
Neighbours described Eunice as a friendly woman. Police have arrested six suspects, and investigations into the murder are continuing.
We thank the Lord for Eunice’s powerful testimony of faithfulness to Christ, even in the face of death. Elisha is only the most recent of several attacks on Christians in recent weeks.
As well as Boko Haram there are other extremist groups
Incidents targeting Christians are the result of growing intolerance and radicalism among Nigerian society, said Atta Barkindo, a researcher and doctoral candidate at the London School of Oriental and African Studies.
“For a very long time, the focus has been on the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s north-east, but apart from Boko Haram, there are a number of extremist Islamic groups located very close to Abuja, the capital.”
They recruit from a large pool of uneducated young people migrating toward central Nigeria from the northern cities of Kano and Sokoto in the north, and they operate with little fear of punishment.
“The government has done nothing in the past. People feel they can commit these kind of killings and propagate Islam, and the government can’t do anything about it. So the main issues here are impunity and the lack of accountability. ”
- For the Lord’s comfort for Eunice’s husband and children
- That they will be cared for and provided for
- That the attackers will be brought to justice
Photo credit: World Watch Monitor