A total of 294 churches have been burned in Kaduna city of northern Nigeria during Muslim-Christian clashes since the Kaduna state government implemented the Islamic legal system last year.

The violence has also left thousands of Christians homeless and has dramatically increased the number of widows and orphans, according to the Macedonian Initiative (MI), a Christian nongovernmental organization.

Nigerian Christian ministers and denominational leaders established MI to provide relief and reconstruction to those who have suffered, both Christians and Muslims.

"The situation in Kaduna is pathetic," says Ladi Thompson, a pastor and MI spokeswoman. She says not even 10 percent of the devastation has been addressed. "Many children are now orphans, women are now widows, many children's education has been disrupted, their schools having been destroyed or their parents killed," Thompson says. "These people have no roof over their heads anymore, and they are roaming the streets."

Arrested for Prayer

Meanwhile, Ambrose Lar, a Christian worker with the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna state, was arrested and detained for seven days in June because of a prayer.

University workers were meeting under the auspices of their unions when Lar was asked to pray about the institution's problems, including corruption. He also prayed for God's wrath on those denying Christians their basic religious rights.

An angry Abdullahi Mahdi, a Muslim and vice chancellor of the university, ordered Lar's arrest. Lar was released only after university workers went on strike on his behalf.

On June 30, the university workers began a week of fasting and prayer aimed at seeking God's intervention in the university's problems, particularly on those related to ...

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