By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
DAMASCUS, SYRIA (Worthy News)-- International Christian Concern has reported that 22 Christians were killed in an assault on a worship service in northeastern Nigeria Sunday morning.
Assailants armed with guns and explosives attacked a Catholic church in Waga Chakawa village in Adamawa state; afterwards, they burned down houses and took local Christians hostage during a four-hour siege.
The attack is thought to be the work of the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram; it was the latest in a series of attacks on Christians in Nigeria's northern and central states that began in December and has to date claimed 63 lives.
Boko Haram -- whose name means "Western education is sinful" -- is trying to create an Islamic state by bombing churches, drive-by shootings and raids on Christian villages that are all part of the Islamist group's plan to "purify" northern and central Nigeria.
"They try to brainwash people that we are fighting an ethnic war," said Boko Haram's Imam Abubakar Shekau. "No, we are fighting a religious war ... we are fighting Christians."
"Boko Haram's slaughter of Christians in northern and central Nigeria has continued unabated so far in 2014," said ICC's Regional Manager, William Stark. "Because these attacks are becoming so common and widespread, many Christians in these areas fear attending church due to the likelihood of coming under attack ... The Nigerian government, who declared a state of emergency in several of Nigeria's northern states, must take decisive action to ensure the safety of Christians living in Nigeria. If decisive action is not taken, the unbelievable violence being perpetrated against Christians in Nigeria will only continue to accelerate and will likely reach genocidal levels in the near future."