Abuja - Nigeria's main Christian body on Tuesday said attacks attributed to Islamist group Boko Haram suggested a "systematic religious cleansing" and harshly criticised the government over its response.
"The bombings are clear indications that the Jamaatu Ahlisunnah Lidda'awatiwal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram, has declared war on Christians and Christianity in Nigeria," a statement from the Christian Association of Nigeria said.
"In fact, the pattern of bombings and gun attacks suggests to us a systematic religious cleansing which reminds Christians of the genesis of a Jihad."
The group also harshly criticised Nigeria's government for what it described as a befuddled response to Boko Haram's insurgency, which has killed hundreds.
"Since these terrorist acts began, nothing the president, Goodluck Jonathan, has done has been reassuring that the end to this spate of bombings and gun attacks is in sight," the statement said.
"On the contrary, his utterances after each bombing and killings, even if unwittingly, seem to have cast a hallmark of weakness on his presidency and an escalation of the terrorist acts."
Three suicide attacks hit churches in Kaduna state in Nigeria's north on Sunday, leaving at least 16 dead and sparking reprisals that saw Christian mobs roam the streets with machetes, burning mosques and killing dozens more.
A total of 52 people were killed in the violence.