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A situation in desperate need of hard reporting
According to police in Kano, Nigeria, 30 people died this week as Muslims sought revenge for the murder of hundreds of their fellow believers last week.

Andrew Ubah, general secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kano, has a different number. "Almost 600 people have been killed and 12 churches burned," he told Reuters, saying the numbers were based on direct reports from priests across the city.

The news service agrees that the official death count is a gross underestimation, explaining that "Nigerian authorities routinely underestimate death tolls from religious violence in the belief the true figures could spark reprisal attacks."

But do they think they're fooling local Nigerians? David Emmanuel told the news service that "he saw two truck loads of bodies being driven along Kano streets on Wednesday night and counted at least 30 corpses in the street."

Christian leader Mark Amani reports that "some corpses were burned in wells. Even little children were killed. The bodies of pregnant women were ripped open and their bodies burned."

Kano's chief of police told a reporter, "We still stick to our figure of 30 killed and 40 hospitalized … [CAN's] figures are baseless."

When such people who have seen such atrocities with their own eyes hear their government say that less than three dozen were killed, does that really reduce their anxiety and anger? Or does it simply mean that they'll be unable to trust the government?

Likely the latter. The Vanguard newspaper reports that "angry residents alleged that the true reason the bodies were being concealed was to hide evidence that many of the dead had been shot by police, not killed by sectarian mobs."

At a meeting of political ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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