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Nigeria: 620 Christians Killed by Jihadists in the First Four and Half Months of 2020

Persecution of Christians in Nigeria continues to increase rapidly — but this persecution rarely makes the news outside that country even as it escalates dramatically, as we see in this report.

Nigeria is about 50% Christian. Of those Christians, around 75% are Protestant, 24% Roman Catholic. Of the remaining 1%, there is a small Orthodox Christian community. These Christians are being subjected to a ruthless persecution that has gone on with sporadic attacks for years, and has been escalating recently. Targeting the Christians are both the Islamic militant group Boko Haram and Muslim Fulani herdsmen. The Order requests once again that the UN and the US State Department address the persecution of Nigerian Christians, and move the Nigerian government to take decisive action against Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen for the protection of its Christian citizens.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria at, see here.

“620 Christians Hacked To Death By Nigerian Jihadists In 4 Months And 15 Days Of 2020,” International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, May 14, 2020:

Nigeria’s main Islamic Jihadists: Militant Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram/ISWAP have intensified their anti Christian violence in the old Middle Belt and Northeast regions with hacking to death in the past four months and half of 2020; of no fewer than 620 defenseless Christians and wanton burning or destruction of their centers of worship and learning. The atrocities against Christians have gone unchecked and risen to alarming apogee with the country’s security forces and concerned political actors looking the other way or colluding with the Jihadists. Houses burnt or destroyed during the period are in their hundreds; likewise dozens of Christian worship and learning centers.

What We Said Last: We had in March 2020 through our investigative statement dated 8th March; found that “no fewer than 350 Christians were hacked to death in Jan and Feb, out of which Jihadist Herdsmen accounted for 250 and Boko Haram about 50-100” and that “11,500-12,000 Christians have been killed by the duo of Boko Haram and Jihadist Herdsmen since June 2015”. In our statement of 4th April, 2020, it was found that “not less than 50 Christians were hacked to death by Fulani Jihadists in March with not less than 10 killed in the first two days of April 2020”. Of the 11,500-12,000 Christian deaths since June 2015, Jihadist Herdsmen accounted for over 7,400 Christian deaths while Boko Haram killed over 4,000. The account did not include those killed in Jan to May 2015, which were in thousands.

32,000 Christians Butchered Since 2009: In our recent detailed review of the entire killing of Christians by Nigeria’s main Jihadists since 2009, it was found that not less than 32,000 Christians have been butchered to death by the country’s main Jihadists. The killings covered 2009 to 2020, with projected figures for Boko Haram and its offshoot ISWAP and Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in the coming seven months and half of 2020. While the killings by Jihadist Herdsmen covered Jan 2009 to end of Dec 2020, those of Boko Haram and its offshoot ISWAP will cover July 2009 to end of Dec 2020.

Captured too, was percentage ratio of the killings or the number of Christians killed by Boko Haram and its offshoot ISWAP versus the number of Muslims killed by same. Going by patterns and trends of Boko Haram killings monitored by Intersociety since 2010, it has been credibly projected that many of those killed by the terror sect and its ISWAP; or 60% are Christians as against 40% for Muslims. Boko Haram since 2009 has been attacking mainly Christians and collaterally extending such attacks to Muslim targets and Government facilities including its security establishments in revenge for Government successes against the terror group in the former’s counterinsurgency operations. In the area of killings by Jihadist Herdsmen, it has been credibly found that 100% of their dead and injured victims are all Christians.

Statistical Breakdown: Based on the forgoing, therefore, no fewer than 32,000 defenseless Christians must have been hacked to death by Nigeria’s main Islamic Jihadists in the past eleven years or 2009 to end of 2020. That is to say that between July 2009 and Dec 2014, a period of five years and five months, according to Ms. Arne Mulder of the US based Christian Open Doors (2015), “not less than 11,500-12,000 Christians were hacked to death by Islamic Boko Haram terror group”. The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has put the number of civilians massacred by Boko Haram and its factions to ‘27,000 including 37 aid workers’. The UNOCHA estimates covered July 2009 to Dec 2019.

On the other hand, Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen accounted for 6,000 Christian deaths between Jan 2009 and Dec 2014, a period of six years. This is on average of 1000 Christian deaths per year. And from Jan 2015 to end of Dec 2020, a period of six years; the Jihadist Fulani militants must have accounted for additional 9000 Christian deaths or 1500 deaths per year. In the end, the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen must have accounted for total Christian deaths of 15,000 in eleven years or Jan 2009 to end of Dec 2020. For Boko Haram and its int’l offshoot-Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), they have, according to UN, been responsible for ’27, 000 deaths’ and ‘over 22,000 disappearances’ between July 2009 and Dec 2019 or a period of ten years and six months. Boko Haram/ISWAP total deaths from July 2009 to end of Dec 2020 have also been projected to rise to 28, 000, from current 27,000; with about ‘22,500 disappearances’.

With credible projection of Boko Haram and its offshoot-ISWAP perpetrated deaths at 60% for Christians and 40% for Muslims, their estimated 19,000 deaths from July 2009 to Dec 2014 must have included 60% or 11,400 Christian deaths, while additional 9,000 deaths which would have taken place from Jan 2015 to end of Dec 2020 will certainly involve another 60% or 5,400 Christian deaths. That is to say that in the end, 16,800 Christians would have lost their lives in eleven years or July 2009 to end of Dec 2020 to Boko Haram Jihadists and their factions or offshoots including ISWAP.

In conclusion, by the end of Dec 2020, not less than 32,000 Christian lives in all would have been lost to Boko Haram and its factions or offshoots and the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen. Already, out of over 8,000 killed by Boko Haram and its factions or offshoots from Jan 2015 to Dec 2019, not less than 4,800 Christian deaths or 60% were recorded and out of not less than 8000 deaths recorded by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen from Jan 2015 to Dec 2019, 100% or the entire 8,000 deaths belonged to Christians. Note: “Christians” here include other non Muslim religionists. Not less than 600 Christian deaths are also credited to ‘Northern (Zamfara) Bandits’, “Fulani Cow Rustlers’ and the “Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa” or ‘Ansaru terror group. This covered June 2015 to date….

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