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Christian Aid Seeks Relief for Jos Survivors of Christmas Eve Bomb Attacks

Contact: Bill Bray, Christian Aid Mission, 434-977-5650

JOS, Nigeria, Dec. 29, 2010 /Christian Newswire/ -- While the city of Jos is still in flames and under a 24-hour military curfew, the first eye-witness reports have begun to come in from indigenous missionaries trapped by the continuing violence. Over 80 people are now confirmed killed in the bombings and assaults on Christmas Eve and the death toll is mounting as street fighting continues.

Christian Aid has set up an emergency hot line to accept donations for the victims at 1-800-977-5650, persecution gift code: 550MCM.

According to a trusted indigenous leader, thousands of internally displaced refugees are on the move. He confirmed that pastors and Christian leaders were targeted and killed in the attacks.

Christian Aid Mission Africa Director Rae Burnett said that the missionary, who is executive director of the one of the mission agencies Christian Aid assists in Jos, is asking Christians around the world to urgently pray for Christians in Nigeria, especially those in the city of Jos.

"We are in regular contact with indigenous missions' leaders there and are already collecting aid for the survivors -- helping them to bury the dead, rebuild homes and churches and heal broken lives."

Wire service reports say authorities first believed the attacks were orchestrated by a militant Islamic group that has killed dozens of Christians since September in the region. However a new and different terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the Christmas Eve assassinations in Jos and church burnings in Borno State as well.

Rae Burnett released parts of an email report from Gabriel Barau, the executive director of Missionary Crusaders Ministries, who was in Jos for a Christmas field visit when the attacks began.

"Right now, my family and I are still trapped on the outskirts of Jos where Muslim fanatics have set the city on fire once again," he wrote yesterday. "I will send more reports and updates on this as I get more information tonight and tomorrow."

Gabriel confirmed reports that the violence began on Christmas Eve when he says seven terrorist bombs were planted in two churches and a market area within Jos City, Plateau State. All exploded successfully, killing many victims.

"Because of the tense situation, I am not able to take any pictures as the city has been taken over by military personnel. The governor has ordered the military to shoot-on-sight anyone caught fomenting trouble.

"Meanwhile the city is locked up. Conditions are tense and many people are still looking for their lost ones. I understand that the many refugees in the city already number over 300,000 people who have fled their homes because of attacks.

"While the Jos violence is still going on," Barau said, "another six people including two pastors were killed and a church burnt down in Maiduguri, Borno State. We need prayers for the believers and the work we are doing among these people as radical Muslims are becoming very hostile to Christians in Nigeria. Our mission board, MCM, has a missionary already surveying Maiduguri to help reach the Kanuri people there who are 100% Muslims.

"Pray for our people and missionaries among the Muslims. We will not relent in our efforts to reach them as the Lord is raising up a people for his name among them. Pray for us."

Christian Aid Mission is an evangelical mission organization helping indigenous missions to all nations. Indigenous missions carry on where Americans are no longer allowed to go as missionaries.