A series of bomb attacks by Nigeria’s radical Islamist sect Boko Haram is challenging President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.  The pace of the bombings has picked up in recent weeks, with attacks on police stations in the northern city of Kano and a Christmas Day suicide bombing at a Catholic church near the capital, Abuja.

In the entry way of St. Theresa’s church in Madalla, one can see worshippers coming in for Sunday mass just as they did on Christmas Day.  But outside in the churchyard a scene of destruction remains – twisted metal, chunks of concrete, burned out trees and a huge hole in the road where a vehicle was stopped and detonated by the suicide bomber who killed so many people.

St. Theresa’s pastor, Father Isaac Acha, calls on worshippers to pray for the bomber as well as his victims.

“Pray [to] God for forgiveness in our hearts, especially on those who have inflicted injury, pain into our lives,” he said.

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