At least 12 Christians, including a pastor and a deacon, were killed by unknown gunmen in separate attacks in Northern Nigeria. The gunmen are suspected to be connected to the extremist group Boko Haram. Witnesses told the press that the gunmen also set a church on fire on Christmas Eve in connection with the attack.

Late on Christmas Eve, gunmen entered the village of Peri in Nigeria’s “middle belt” state of Yobe. “A group of gunmen entered the village around midnight and went straight to the church,” a resident of Peri told the Deccan Chronicle. “They opened fire on them, killing the pastor and five worshipers. They then set fire to the [Evangelical Church of West Africa in Peri].”

The head of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Yobe State told the African Free Press that many of the worshipers of the Evangelical Church of West Africa were “still missing.”

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