The Christian Post reported on the 14th that 2 out of about 60 church members who were kidnapped during an attack on a church service in Kaduna state, Nigeria last month, were killed.
“The armed robbers opened fire on five victims, who are currently in the hospital. Two have died, and three are seriously injured,” said Reverend Joseph Hayab, president of the Kaduna branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in a statement.
According to Open Doors, an international persecution watchdog group, Fulani militants raided the Immanuel Baptist Church in Kakau Daji, Kaduna Province, on October 31 and kidnapped more than 60 members.
When the incident occurred, the local government blocked the communication network to strengthen boundaries within the area, which prevented the church from asking for help and resulted in the militants demanding a higher ransom.
The status of negotiations and the health of the rest of the abducted members remain unknown.
The Christian Association of Nigeria appealed to the government, saying, “The lives of the abducted members are at risk, and urgent intervention from the government and security agencies is needed.
“The evil we are experiencing is already beyond what the ordinary people in Kaduna and Nigeria can handle,” the association said.
Kaduna and other farm-rich Middle Belt regions have seen a surge in attacks on Christian rural communities since 2015. It is estimated that thousands of Nigerian Christians have been killed since 2015.
The Nigerian government has claimed that the conflict stems from land and agricultural clashes between peasants called “Verom” and the nomadic “Fulani,” but domestic and international human rights groups criticize the government for deliberately ignoring the religious violence of Islamic radicalism.
International human rights groups are warning that without a response to the persecution of Christians in the Middle Belt region, a serious “genocide” could result.
In a video conference hosted by Christian advocacy group In Defense of Christians in June 2020, former US Representative Frank Wolf said that a previous massacre in Rwanda led to the death of over 300,000 Christians, and warned that if nothing is done, as many as 800,000 Christians could die in Nigeria before this is over.
“Hundreds of thousands of people died when the world and the United States ignored the genocide in Rwanda,” Frank said. “This history could repeat itself again.”
Nigeria was ranked ninth this year on the World Watch List, which includes the top 50 countries where it is most dangerous to be a Christian. It is also one of 10 countries on the US State Department’s “Countries of Special Concern for Religious Freedom” list.
Source: Christian Today
Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
(Luke 6:22-23 NKJV)
God, we lift up the Nigerian Christians who are facing this life-and-death persecution by Islamic radicals. They are being persecuted just because they believe in Jesus. They are hated and brutally attacked by Islamic radicals because they refuse to deny the one true God.
Lord, help Your Nigerian Christians stay firm in their faith, even to the point of death. May they rejoice in their suffering, because they are suffering for their Lord’s sake, whose coming is not far away now.
Holy Spirit, help them never stop sharing this gospel of the kingdom, always looking towards that great reward that they will soon receive from You.
We pray for the Nigerian church to rise up with faith, hope, and love. Even though Nigeria is 50% Christian, may they spread the gospel widely throughout Nigeria and even beyond Africa, making disciples of all nations! Amen!