Zamfara state in northern Nigeria declared itself under Islamic law in October. The declaration of shari'a, or Islamic law, has alarmed Nigeria's Christians, many of whom live in southern Nigeria. "Declaring shari'a is tantamount to declaring a parallel government in Nigeria," M. B. Uthman, a professor at the Islamic Ahma du Bello University in Nigeria, told Religion News Service (CT, Oct. 25, 1999, p. 22).
Two missionary nuns, two Timorese deacons, two orphan girls, a theology student, and a Timorese journalist were murdered by retreating Pro-Indonesian militias as UN peacekeeping troops moved into East Timor. Since an overwhelming vote in favor of Timorese Independence on August 30, Indonesian Muslim militias have killed a number of priests and Christian workers (CT, Oct. 25, 1999, p. 24).
A Roman Catholic nun in Bihar province of east India was abducted by two men in a taxi, stripped, threatened with rape, and forced to drink urine in an attempt to deter and demoralize Christians who evangelize Hindus. Hindu extremists have carried out a number of attacks on Christians in India since late last year (CT, March 1, 1999, p.46).1