Fears that COVID-19 Riots Could Lead to Church Attacks in Niger

Niger’s Christians fear they could be attacked, following violent protests by “fundamentalist Muslim extremists” over COVID-19 bans on public worship.

Members of the country’s Christian community have expressed concerns that there will be a repeat of the January 2015 attacks on churches, which occurred during protests against the caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed in French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. At least five people were killed.

Bishop Ambroise Ouédraogo of Maradi told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that he thought Christians would not be targeted as part of the new protests – but added: “We have to be on our guard, nonetheless, as the reactions of the fundamentalist Muslim extremists are unpredictable.”

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