At least 38 people have been killed since Christmas Eve in attacks across Nigeria, including assaults against two churches.
Local police suspect radical Muslim group Boko Haram, which has a history of anti-Christian violence, in the church attacks.
In the northern town of Maiduguri, armed men dragged the pastor of Victory Baptist Church out of his home and then shot him to death. Two men rehearsing for the carol service at the church and two people walking nearby were also killed. Afterwards, the mob set the church and pastor’s house on fire, according to The Associated Press.
Also within the same city and on the same day, another group of men attacked the Church of Christ in Nigeria and killed an elderly security guard.
Adding to the death toll are bomb blasts Friday evening in central Nigeria that killed 32 people. Two bombs exploded near a market where people were Christmas shopping, another exploded in a predominantly Christian area in Jos, and a fourth bomb blasted near a road leading to a mosque.
It is currently unclear if the church attacks and the bombing in central Nigeria are linked.
Linked by hatred if nothing else. Christians continue to be the most persecuted religious group in the world.