Adamawa State, Nigeria
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Adamawa State, Nigeria
This is the case that first got me interested in doing more research on this topic. While working on Nigeria-related articles for Wikipedia, I ran across an article that talked about "Muslim militants" who attacked Christians in Demsa (or Numan) Village in Adamawa State, Nigeria. (URL of original page - now deleted: , Deletionpedia archived page:. There were no in-text citations, only two links at the bottom of the page:
- An angry newspaper editorial about persecuted Christians
- A Christian Persecution movement website that cites a news article from Compass Direct, a CP news bureau, that appears to only report on and collect stories about Christians persecuted internationally.
The article was horribly biased, so I took it on myself to make it more balanced. Unfortunately, I immediately ran into a brick wall. I could find _no_ independent, secular news stories about the incident. Nothing in BBC Africa's archive, nothing in AllAfrica.com's archive of Nigerian newspapers. It's as if the incident never happened.
BBC did report on riots in 2004 where Christians attacked Muslims who were attempting to rebuild a mosque that had been destroyed by Christians in 2003. Christian rioters burned down three mosques, and the ensuing riots killed 41 people:
They also covered non-religious fighting between ethnic groups over land use in 2003:
- Nigerian clashes leave 100 dead March 4, 2003
So, where are the news reports on the purported 2005 riots where Muslims killed Christians? They're all on CP websites, and they all can be traced back to the Compass report.
It can be argued that the media's poor coverage of African news is the reason other news articles can't be found. But the media loves to report on violence in Africa, even if it isn't assigned much importance. Also, it's odd that the BBC would report violence that left 41 people dead the year before, but ignore a story where not only did almost as many people died, but over three thousand people became refugees from the violence in a neighboring state.
So, the question is- did this event ever happen at all? Is the CP movement taking advantage of the media's poor coverage (and the West's poor understanding) of Africa to further its goals?
Mentions of this incident
I'm using a fairly loose definition of "news site" here. As no paper of record that I can find printed the story, here are news aggregators and reprint sites that picked up the story.
- ASSIST News Service Story may have come from the Jubilee Campaign.
- Release Int'l Prayer Request Cites Compass Direct.
- Christian Persecution Info's Top 10 CP Stories of 2005 No cite.
- News collection site- exorthodoxforchrist.com Quotes entire ASSIST article.
- Newsfront Quotes Compass.
- Letusreason.org Quotes Compass.
- John Mark Ministries Quotes Religion Today / Compass.
- Free Reformed Churches of North America Cites Charisma News Service.
- US State Dept Human Rights Report Mentions an incident, but has a completely different description of what happened.
- HRWF Cites Compass.
- Voice of the Martyrs Cites Compass.
- European Country of Origin Network Same as State Dept- mentions an incident, but has a very different story.
- The Great Separation. Cited ASSIST news service.
Sermons and Prayer Requests
- Sociological Implications of Communal and Ethno-Religious Clashes in New Democratic Nigeria Gives a very different view of what happened, similar to the DoS. Cites Guardian article: "Ande, E. 2005. 'Twenty-eight deared dead, 2500 displaced in fresh Adamawa crisis.' The Guardian. Feb 7 2005, pp. 1-2.
This is the chaff. Comments in blogs that mention the incident, etc. It's here so I can be thorough.
- JihadWatch blog comment Quotes entire Compass article.