Pastor Johnson Jauro of the Deeper Life Church in Gombe, a city in northeastern Nigeria, reports that gunmen fired through the windows of his church during services, killing six people and injuring ten. The pastor’s wife was among the dead. (The BBC has the story.)Gombe is the capital of Gombe state, one of Nigeria’s smallest and least populated states with about two million people. Like most states in northern Nigeria, it was historically a Muslim-majority state with strong links to pre-British Islamic emirates, but Gombe also has a large and active Christian population. When sharia law was introduced, there was more resistance in Gombe than in some other parts of the north, and sharia has been restricted to those parts of the state where Muslims are in the majority. The religious tension, as is often the case, has ethnic and economic overtones as well. There are predominantly Christian tribes who resent the historic power of the leading Islamic tribes and traditional authorities, there are Christian ‘immigrants’ from the south, and in some cases Muslims perceive their positions of power as threatened given the gradual tilt of power in the country toward the more developed, oil rich and increasingly Christian south.One church attack in Gombe is not necessarily news in a country where religious, ethnic and plain old fashioned criminal violence is depressingly common. But I have met a number of Nigerian Christians over the years, and in a country in which even the Anglicans are militant, religious hostility can spread. The Gombe shooting may or may not be related to Boko Haram, a fanatical sect which capitalizes on the credulity, insecurity and ignorance of troubled souls and has ordered all Christians to leave the north. But Christians in Nigeria are both angry and worried about what looks to many of them like a trend of rising extremist attacks.Nigeria has about one fourth of sub-Saharan Africa’s population and is one of the world’s major oil producers. Its population is young and restless, and its governance is appalling. It bears watching.