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Nigeria: Christian pastor gunned down with his wife on their farm

Christian persecution in Nigeria: the murders of the Rev. Emmanuel Saba Bileya and his wife Juliana are yet another example of the gratuitous violence to which Christians in that country are subjected on an all too frequent basis. Muslim Fulani herdsmen, as well as the terrorist group Boko Haram, terrorize and kill Christians in Nigeria with impunity. And when they do, there is in almost all cases little or no significant response from the Nigerian government or military. The herdsmen have made the situation of Christians in Nigeria a human rights catastrophe of immense proportions.

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, once again urgently implores the United Nations and the governments of all nations that are committed to human rights and religious freedom to make the plight of Nigeria’s Christians a top priority. The Christians of Nigeria are walking the way of the Cross. May our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ also bless them with the joy of a resurrection and new flourishing of their communities.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria from ChristianPersecution.com, see here.

“Nigerian pastor and Calvin Seminary grad gunned down with his wife on their farm,” by Samuel Smith, Christian Post, June 5, 2020:

A Nigerian Christian pastor who graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in Michigan was gunned down along with his wife Monday while working on their farm in the Taraba State of Nigeria. The couples leave behind eight children ages 1 to 19. 

The Rev. Emmanuel Saba Bileya and his wife, Juliana, who is said to be pregnant, were killed by gunmen who have yet to be identified, according to a statement released by the Hausa Christians Foundation.

“It was an attack on the pastor and his wife on their farm. While they were working on the farm, suddenly armed men came and opened fire on them, leading to the death of the pastor and his wife,” a spokesperson for the state police said in a statement shared by the foundation. 

Bileya served as a pastor at a Christian Reformed Church in the Donga local government area. Bileya received a Master of Theology from Calvin in 2014 and served for the last five years at Veenstra Theological Seminary in Donga, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

“In what is being noted as systematic direct war against Christianity in Nigeria, pastors, Christian leaders and seminarians are either being kidnapped or killed every week,” the Hausa Christians Foundation statement reads. “Christians in Nigeria have been the target of many attacks by the vicious Boko Haram jihadist Islamist terrorists, herdsmen attacks and many other kidnappings in recent times.”…

Nigeria ranks as the 12th-worst country in the world for Christian persecution on Open Doors USA’s 2020 World Watch List. 

Estimates suggest that over 620 Christians have been killed in Nigeria by radical herdsmen and Islamic extremists so far in 2020 as thousands have been killed in recent years. 

While the government has maintained that the escalation of violence is a result of ethnic conflicts between predominantly Christian farming and predominantly Muslim herding communities, advocates for Christians contend that religious elements are a factor. 

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