NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — Religious leaders in Nigeria are renewing and amplifying their call for the government to pay compensation for the destruction of churches by Boko Haram, even as the Islamist militants escalate attacks in the country’s northern states.

Nigerian clergy say at least 1,000 churches have been destroyed in the six-year insurgency, which the government declared crushed last year.

Human rights groups say thousands more churches have been abandoned or closed in the conflict — in which schools, mosques, markets and military installations have also been targeted.

Clergy say the attacks on churches have compromised freedom of religion in the

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