‘To choose vengeance didn’t just mean arming themselves with dangerous weapons. They were also planning to protect themselves with amulets and gain strength by drinking special concoctions.’
Many of the Bible study were new Christians, and these things were hangovers from their former lives in the village. In short, to take the path of revenge would take the villagers away from their new-found faith in more than one way.
It was at this time that Enoch received the latest edition of Footsteps – a Tearfund magazine providing practical Bible-based insights on development and change.
‘One of the Bible Studies in that edition was all about “Christ triumphs over Conflict” and it couldn’t have come at a better time,’ says Enoch. ‘The community listened to us as we taught about the best way to respond to wrongdoing, and withdrew their intentions to avenge the killings. Peace has now returned to the community.’
Adamawa is one of the several states in northern Nigeria that have been affected by religious and ethnic tensions and conflict. Along with violence like the sort seen in Mayo Belwa, there have been regular attacks from the ultra-violent Boko Haram group.
Not surprisingly, the question of ‘how do I respond to violence and persecution?’ is one that many people find themselves having to ask.