Northern Nigerian Christians said on Tuesday they feared that a spate of Christmas Day bombings by Islamist militants that killed over two dozen people could lead to a religious war in Africa's most populous country.The Boko Haram Islamist sect, which aims to impose sharia Islamic law across Nigeria, claimed responsibility for the blasts, the second Christmas in a row it has caused carnage at Christian churches.Saidu Dogo, secretary general for the CAN [Christian Association of Nigeria] in Nigeria's 19 northern provinces called on Muslim leaders to control their faithful, saying Christians will be forced to defend themselves against further attacks.
"We fear that the situation may degenerate to a religious war and Nigeria may not be able to survive one. Once again, 'enough is enough!'," Dogo said.
The attacks risk reviving tit-for-tat sectarian violence between the mostly Muslim north and the largely Christian south, which has claimed thousands of lives in the past decade.
You will recall that religion is so sensitive an issue in Nigeria that the question is not asked in the census. Other surveys, however, such as the Demographic and Health Surveys, do ask about religion and help us estimate that the country is still roughly evenly split between Muslims and Christians.