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Nigeria: More than 200 Muslim Fulani herdsmen attack Christian villages, killing at least 35 people and kidnapping 58 others

Persecution of Christians in Nigeria: note the statement from Luka Binniyat, spokesman for the Southern Kaduna Peoples’ Union (SOKAPU): “We are shocked with the way that the federal government and the government of Kaduna state seem to be overwhelmed by these cruel crimes.” Binniyat said: “These defenseless victims and the affected communities are left to their own fate, in the hands of these blood thirsty militiamen. It is sad that the same communities who are victims of these mass murders, kidnappings, arsons, lootings, rapings and other mindless evils are forced to pay their assailants huge sums to gain their freedom or that of their loved ones.”

We see this indifference from officials time and time again. This kind of incident should be the top priority of security agencies, and the Nigerian government should be taking active steps to end this persecution, but as the situation stands now, the security agencies either cannot or will not act to end this persecution.

The Order 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. They are walking the way of the Cross. May our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ also bless them with a new flourishing of their communities.

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

“Large-Scale Killings, Kidnappings Hit Christians in Kaduna State, Nigeria, Sources Say,” Morning Star News, January 15, 2020:

JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – More than 200 Muslim Fulani herdsmen have attacked predominantly Christian villages in southern Kaduna state, Nigeria since Jan. 6, killing at least 35 people and kidnapping 58 others, including a mother and her 6-month-old baby, sources said.

Armed with AK-47s, the herdsmen on motorcycles rampaged through 10 predominantly Christian villages in Chikun and Brinin Gwari counties, Christian leaders said. Traumatized people displaced by the violence, dispossessed of their farmlands and homeless, later received calls demanding thousands of dollars in ransom for the release of their relatives, they said.

“The herdsmen, or ‘bandits’ as they now call them, began their attacks on our communities on Monday, Jan. 6, killing, maiming and kidnapping members of our families without restraint by security agencies or the military,” pastor Habila Madama, a Christian leader in the affected areas, told Morning Star News. “The herdsmen have destroyed our farmlands and left us with nothing. These Muslim Fulani herdsmen will usually come with their cattle, forcefully take over our farms, and destroy crops ready for harvests.”

He appealed to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and the Kaduna state government to take steps to end the violence.

“As it is now, we don’t know where to go, what to feed on, or where do we get clothes to wear, especially for our children – and worst of all, where to lay our heads,” Pastor Madama said.

The assailants have called relatives of the 58 kidnapped people demanding 10 million naira (US$27,440) in ransom, said Jonathan Asake, president of the Southern Kaduna Peoples’ Union (SOKAPU) at a press conference at a refugee camp at Ungwar Beji, in Gonin Gora area of Chikun County.

“About 35 people have been killed by the herdsmen, while about 58 persons have also been abducted,” Asake said, noting that there are missing people still unaccounted for. “As you can see from the way these people are, they are seriously traumatized and need immediate assistance to be able to hold on. We have been told that the bandits have destroyed all the farm products of the victims and also destroyed their houses, leaving them with nothing to call their own.”

Asake said he has been told that about 8,000 people displaced by the attacks have arrived in Buruku with nothing in their possession, and that 200 people with no food, bedding or clothing had gathered at the Ungwar Beji camp.

“Worst of all, most of the children are sick,” he said. “This calls for concern on all people of good will to come to their aid in any kind in order to give them hope of survival before steps could be taken on the area of their education.”…

The Kaduna state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) estimates that Christians have paid about 400 million naira (nearly US$1.1 million) to kidnappers as of Jan. 11, Binniyat said.

“We are shocked with the way that the federal government and the government of Kaduna state seem to be overwhelmed by these cruel crimes. These defenseless victims and the affected communities are left to their own fate, in the hands of these blood thirsty militiamen,” he said. “It is sad that the same communities who are victims of these mass murders, kidnappings, arsons, lootings, rapings and other mindless evils are forced to pay their assailants huge sums to gain their freedom or that of their loved ones.”

The attackers use the ransom money to purchase more arms and enlarge their operations against the next community, he said.

“We fear that with the unchecked boldness that these heinous crimes against humanity are spreading, there is a systematic plan to wipe out our communities and take over our lands,” Binniyat said….

Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution but second in the number of Christians killed for their faith, behind Pakistan.

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