A recent study has found that upwards of 52,250 Christians have been murdered in Nigeria since the Boko Haram Insurgency began nearly fourteen years ago. The investigative report entitled ‘Martyred Christians in Nigeria’, was published by Nigeria’s persecution watchdog International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) earlier this month.
According to Inter-society’s research, at least 52,250 Christians in the country have been brutally killed by Islamist militants for non-violently professing their faith between July 2009 and April 2023. The report found that 9,250 Christian massacres were recorded after July 2021 and 5,068 in 2022. In the first 100 days of 2023, Inter-society says 1,041 Christians were slaughtered by Jihadists while a further 707 have been kidnapped. The predominantly Christian Benue State has the highest record of Christian deaths for this year at 380.
The non-profit began monitoring the persecution of Christians in the country in 2010, following the Islamic uprising by the jihadist rebel group Boko Haram in July 2009. Its report claims that the installation of Muhammadu Buhari as president in 2015 fuelled these anti-Christian attacks, highlighting that 30,250 Christians have been killed, 18,000 churches and 2,200 Christian schools set ablaze since the Muslim leader came to power. During his presidency, Buhari has been accused of promoting radical Islam by not dealing harshly enough with Islamist terrorist groups and endorsing Sharia law across its northern states. The increased violence has forced some 14 million Christians to flee or uproot from their homes.
More Christians are killed in Nigeria than anywhere else in the world. Buhari has recently been replaced as President by Bola Tinubi. It is hoped that his election may improve the situation in Nigeria however only time will tell.