NIGERIA: Kidnappings and Murders of Christians Escalate

05 September 2023

Source: International Christian Concern

More than 1,000 Christians in Nigeria have been killed during attacks by Islamic extremists in 2023. Boko Haram, Fulani militants, and other extremist groups have kidnapped and killed Christians for not paying ransom.

Community leaders blamed Fulani militants for kidnapping and destroying farm produce before harvest, and Christian religious leaders addressed the atrocities in Christian communities as persecution, but the Nigerian government addressed the terrorists as unknown gunmen or bandits. In Plateau State, more than 400 Christians were killed by Fulani militants in Mangu, Barkin Ladi, and Riyom local government this year.

In northern Nigeria, Fulani militants kidnapped seven Christians. A witness reported that the captors took the hostages at gunpoint from a restaurant in Bauchi State on the evening of 21 August.

Terrorists are demanding ransoms of $4,100 (2 million Naira), which is an immense sum for a struggling rural family from Bassa in Plateau State. Their livelihoods have already been devastated by terrorists in their hometowns. Even a short walk for food is a perilous journey due to the constant threat of attacks. Many Christian villages in the region have fallen under the control of Fulani terrorists, and sadly, the residents cannot find safety even in their supposed places of refuge.

Five of those kidnapped were released on 21 August and rushed to hospital, while the militants killed two for not paying the ransom. The militants told the hostages they were raising funds through kidnapping to attack more Christian communities.

The National Leader of the Irigwe Chiefdom in Plateau State says Christians are persecuted, but the Nigerian government remains silent, allowing persecuted Christians to be under the mercy of gunmen. He calls on Christians in the diaspora to pray for persecuted Christians in the country.


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