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Nigeria: Over the past 20 years, 100,000 Christians have been killed

Christian persecution in Nigeria: as we have noted here at several times, there has been no significant response from Nigerian authorities or the international human rights community to the ongoing persecution of Christians in Nigeria. It is clear that Nigerian authorities have little or no interest in securing law-abiding, defenseless Christians against these unrelenting massacres, ethnic cleansing, and hostage-cleansing, and just as clear that the UN and other organizations have little to no interest in the plight of Nigerian Christians.

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. Those Christians 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, see here.

“Black Christian Lives Apparently Do Not Matter,” by Giulio Meotti, Gatestone Institute, September 6, 2020:

In Nigeria, over the past 20 years, 100,000 Christians have been killed. Nigeria is becoming the “biggest killing ground of Christians in the world”….

“Stop the killings”, “Enough is enough”, “Our lives matter”, said Nigerian Christians and church leaders gathered in London on August 20 to demonstrate against the massacre of Christians in their country. They sent British Prime Minister Boris Johnson a letter accusing the international media of “a conspiracy of silence”.

At the same time, a report by three organizations — the International Organization for Peace Building and Social Justice, the International Committee on Nigeria and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief — disclosed that in Nigeria, over the past 20 years, 100,000 Christians have been killed. Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Fulani herdsmen and other Islamist groups are responsible for the deaths of more than 96,000 Christians in 21,000 separate attacks. According to the report, 43,242 Christians were killed by Boko Haram, Islamic State and Al Qaeda; 18,834 died in Fulani attacks and 34,233 from other armed groups. Nigeria is becoming the “biggest killing ground of Christians in the world”.

“This thing is systematic,” said Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Argak Kwashi of Jos; “it is planned; it is calculated…. their intention is to Islamize Nigeria”.

The stakes are strategic and immense. Nigeria, already the most populous African country, could have a population of about 800 million people in the year 2100, according to a study by The Lancet, and could become the ninth-largest economy in the world. “If Islam overruns Nigeria, the rest of Africa might easily fall prey to them”, Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo said.

To read the reports on the massacres of Nigerian Christians, the scene is always the same: a village with a few poor houses surrounded by open fields. Jihadists appear in the middle of the night and attack house after house. They break down doors, shout “Allahu akbar”, murder the elderly, rape and maim women and children, and kidnap for ransom as a “business.” They burn houses, schools and churches. “It is as if the lives of Christians no longer matter”, said Pastor Stephen Baba Panya, president of the Evangelical Church Winning All.

“In Nigeria’s northern and central belt states, thousands of civilians have been killed in attacks led by Boko Haram, Islamist Fulani herders and other extremist militias”, wrote the Baroness Caroline Cox. “Hundreds of churches have been burned to rubble. Entire communities have been forced to abandon their homes and farmland”. The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law warned of the risk of “Rwandan-style genocide“.

Organizations that track the persecution of Christians have long been denouncing what is taking place. In 2012, Open Doors USA was already pointing out the risk of genocide in Nigeria. Eight years after that, how many Christian lives have been lost? How many could be saved if the media, the chancelleries and international organizations had put pressure on the Nigerian leadership to protect its Christians? Why has the West never linked trade, diplomatic, military and political exchanges with Nigeria to protecting its Christians?

US President Ronald Reagan linked talks with the Soviet Union to a campaign to let Russia’s Jews leave the country. But even the Jews in the Soviet Union were not experiencing the atrocities that the Christians in Nigeria are suffering every day….

Six years ago, the kidnapping of 276 female students, mostly Christian, by the Islamist group Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria, led to international condemnation. #BringBackOurGirls trended on Twitter — not surprisingly with no effect on Buhari. The hashtag campaign was brief.

Only one of those kidnapped Nigerian teens, Leah Sharibu, failed to regain her freedom and therefore spent two years in Boko Haram captivity. Why? Because she had refused to renounce Christianity and convert to Islam. Her mother joined a protest in London, but no major European newspaper had time for her. “Out of fatigue or self-shame, or both, we close our eyes”, said the journalist Franz-Olivier Giesbert….

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