At least 27 people have been killed during an attack on a north Nigerian village, during which three churches were set on fire.
Open Doors reports that gunmen opened fire in the mostly Christian village of Dille, Borno state, on Monday morning – killing and injuring dozens of civilians.
According to local witnesses, the militia – thought to be members of terrorist organisation Boko Haram – were "heavily armed with anti-aircraft guns, rocket propelled launchers and explosives".
Furthermore, the gunmen allegedly came from an area of the Sambisa forest, which is where the kidnapped schoolgirls from Chibok are suspected to be being held.
Boko Haram, whose name translates as 'Western education is forbidden' – is responsible for thousands of deaths since its uprising in 2009, including over 2,000 this year alone. Members have declared their intention to cleanse the country of Christians, eradicate Nigerian democracy and replace it with an Islamic state guided by Sharia law.
President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Muslim-majority Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states in May 2013 and has authorised an increased military presence in an attempt to combat extremism. However radicalised Muslims continue to wreak devastation.
Bishops have urged the international Christian community to pray for the Nigerian Church, resources for which can be found here.