Around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday 26th February, a suicide bomber smashed his car through the gates of COCIN HQ church in Jos, Plateau State. The bomber failed to reach the church building but still managed to kill 3 people and injure numerous worshippers. Dozens of cars were badly damaged and glass was showered everywhere.
What made this outrage a little more personal was that I had been worshipping in that church just two weeks earlier. The seats occupied by me and my friends were seats that were showered with glass and debris, causing painful injuries and damaging ear drums. That’s a bit too close for comfort!
But it is a risk that every worshipper faces each time they set off for church on Sunday morning. Churches routinely search worshippers and metal scanners are as widely used as hymn books. COCIN HQ had set up road blocks where every car was stopped and searched; questions will be asked why the bomber got past those blocks.
So next time you are tempted to stay away from church for some minor reason, think about church goers in Central and Northern Nigeria who, quite literally, risk their lives every time they set off to worship.