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Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Lami David was in her kitchen preparing dinner for her family in north-central Nigeria on Thursday evening (May 7) when two Muslim Fulani herdsmen broke into her home and shot her and her mother-in-law, sources said.
The 32-year-old mother of four had her 2-year-old wrapped on her back in her home in predominantly Christian Nkietohu village, Plateau state, when she heard the first shots in the room where her mother-in-law, 60-year-old Elizabeth (Lisa) Nchu, was resting, according to community leader Josiah Zongo.
Her mother-in-law was shot in the shoulder, and David was then shot in her chest and legs, Zongo said.
“The woman was shot with her baby on her back – the child was not hurt as well as other children were not,” Zongo told Morning Star News. “The woman was found lying in a pool of blood behind the house where she’d tried to run away from the gunmen. She fell down because of the shot. She was also heard saying it was the Fulani herdsmen who came from Rafin Bauna village, a nearby Hausa/Fulani community.”
Her husband, who was in his room with the other three children at the time of the attack, escaped, Zongo said. The family was sheltering in their home at 7:45 p.m. due to a curfew to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“The gunmen also followed the man as he ran for his life but could not get him,” he said.
David was shot three times, and because of the critical nature of her injuries was receiving treatment at Bingham University Teaching Hospital (Jankwano), in Jos; Nchu was being treated at Enos Hospital, Miango, Bassa County, sources said.
The Roman Catholic family belongs to the area’s Church of Immaculate Conception, local resident Patience Moses said. She said David’s other children are ages 12, 8 and 5.
When herdsmen come in small numbers they are increasingly targeting one or two homes, she said.
“The herdsmen usually attack a house they first see as they emerge from surrounding bushes,” Moses told Morning Star News. “If they’re few, they attack one or two houses and then retreat, but if they’re a large group, the herdsmen proceed to attack an entire village.”
The attack in Nkietohu village comes on the heels of similar attacks in Miango and Kwall Districts of Bassa County by Muslim Fulani herdsmen using guerrilla tactics on Christian communities.
In the past three months, armed Fulani herdsmen and bandits have targeted Christian communities in what appears to be “well-planned and calculated efforts geared towards exterminating them,” said Tom Chiahemen, spokesman for advocacy group the Christian Rights Agenda (CRA), in a press statement.
“In the last few years, no fewer than 60 villages and communities have been displaced in Plateau state, taken over and renamed by Fulani herdsmen with such impunity,” Chiahemen said.
The Christian communities have been left defenseless as there seems to have been no genuine effort by authorities to protect them, end the killings and return seized lands to them, Chiahemen said.
“The CRA is worried by the seeming silence of Nigeria’s President, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, who as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces has not only failed to protect the Christian communities but has remained silent over these killings,” he said. “To date, no Fulani herdsmen have been arrested and prosecuted over the killings, a development that has helped to embolden them.”
Leaders of the CRA are concerned that the assailants have intensified attacks in recent weeks during the lockdown and restriction of movement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Chiahemen said.
The CRA called on the international community, especially the United Nations, European Union, the governments of the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, and the International Criminal Court “to take note of the ongoing genocide against Christians in Nigeria.”
Chiahemen said the pattern, mode and intensity of the massacre in Nigeria is reminiscence of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
“The CRA is worried about the failure of the Nigerian government to arrest and prosecute perpetrators of these killings over the years, which has emboldened them the more,” he said. “Consequently, the CRA will liaise with the affected communities to, among other things, institute actions at the International Criminal Court against the Nigerian government for war crimes.”
CRA records show that between 2016 and 2019, there were 358 attacks on Christians resulting in 561 deaths, 210 injuries, 4,720 houses burnt, 2892 farms destroyed and 123 cattle rustled, he said.
From Jan. 1, to April 19, 22 Christian communities were attacked a total of 33 times, resulting in 40 deaths, 15 persons hospitalized with injuries, 1,105 rooms with property burnt, 104 farms destroyed and 67 food storage barns destroyed, according to the CRA.
A human rights attorney’s letter to the governor of Plateau state earlier this month also decried recent attacks.
“Parts of Bokkos, Barkin Ladi, Riyom, Mangu and Bassa Local Government Areas are now ruled by fear rather than by law,” Redzie D. Jugo of law firm Black Palms Consult wrote in the letter, a copy of which was sent to Morning Star News. “Children are caught in crossfires; pregnant women are killed with their unborn babies never knowing the joy of suckling. For these people, their version of peace has a semblance of bloody order and violent decorum.”
Since Jan. 1 in an area of the predominantly Christian, ethnic Irigwe, Jugo wrote, 45 people have been killed and 15 injured, with 1,434 rooms, 104 farms and 67 barns destroyed.
“For some reason the lockdown has been favorable to the attackers,” Jugo wrote. “The dead are not just statistics; Sir, the killings and destruction have to stop, and we need to see leadership in this regard.”
Four Christian men were gunned down on an open stretch of road in the Irigwe Chiefdom on May 3 between Kwall village and Miango, he noted.
“Four enterprising, promising, young Christians, Chohu Gado, 27; Tanta Abba, 27; Friday Musa, 25; and Emmanuel Kure, 22, were gunned down in what many described as a staccato of automatic gunfire,” he wrote.
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.
Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen shot and wounded a Christian leader and his family in one part of Plateau state on Tuesday (May 5), two days after herdsmen killed four Christians in another part of the state, sources said.
Herdsmen shot the Rev. Bayo Famonure, head of Christian high school Messiah College, at his home on the school premises in Gana Ropp village, Barkin Ladi County on Tuesday night, Pastor Famonure said by text message from his bed at General Hospital in the town of Barkin Ladi.
“Yes, I was shot in the head, but the bullet didn’t enter. It’s a miracle,” Pastor Famonure told Morning Star News, saying he was also grateful that bullets in his lower extremities missed bones.
The herdsmen shot his wife in the back and his two children in the feet, but all were in stable condition, he said. His wife, Na’omi, was initially in critical condition and was transferred to Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), where she underwent surgery on her back on Wednesday (May 6), sources said.
“I just praise God,” Pastor Famonure said, adding that even though his wife and two children were shot, “we’re all chatting.”
Eight armed herdsmen invaded the school, closed due to the novel coronavirus, while the pastor and his family were sleeping, said the Rev. Danjuma Byang, secretary of the Plateau chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
“Sister Na’omi is stable, X-ray and scan show no internal injury and no embedded bullets,” Pastor Byang told Morning Star News by text message. “We thank the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness. Let’s also pray for our govt and security agencies for sincerity on their part. In obedience to govt directives people stay in their homes, and some marauding herdsmen follow them home and mow them down; and nothing happens afterwards.”
The Christian school was also attacked on Feb. 24, 2014, forcing the temporary closure of several Christian ministries in the area. The training base of Calvary Ministries (CAPRO) and the headquarters of Agape Missions are based in Gana Ropp.
Near Miango County’s Kwall village, herdsmen ambushed and killed four Christians on Sunday (May 3), sources said.
They were ambushed as they shared a motorcycle from Kwall village to Miango town at about 9:30 p.m., said area resident Moses Gata. He identified them as Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) members Friday Musa, 26; Chohu Nyangu, 25; Anta Yakubu, 26; and Baptist Church member Emmanuel Kure, 24.
“They met their untimely death in Adu village when they were ambushed and shot by Fulani gunmen,” Gata told Morning Star News. “Three of them, Emmanuel Kure, Chohu Nyangu and Friday Musa, were all killed on the spot with a spray of bullets, while Anta Yakubu sustained some serious bullet injuries and later died at Enos Hospital Miango.”
All four were buried by military and police personnel at a cemetery in Kwall village along the Miango-Vom road, he said.
“Soldiers and police were all at the scene of the attack, and a police vehicle was used to convey the corpses to the burial ground at Miango-Vom road,” Gata said.
On Jan. 30 Christian Solidarity International (CSI) issued a genocide warning for Nigeria, calling on the Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council to take action. CSI issued the call in response to “a rising tide of violence directed against Nigerian Christians and others classified as ‘infidels’ by Islamist militants in the country’s north and middle belt regions.’”
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.
Today, April 24, marks the “Great Crime,” that is, the genocide of Christians—mostly Armenians but also Assyrians and Greeks—that took place under the Islamic Ottoman Empire, throughout World War I. Then, in an attempt to wipe out as many Christians as possible, the Turks massacred approximately 1.5 million Armenians, 300,000 Assyrians, and 750,000 Greeks.
Most objective American historians who have studied the question unequivocally agree that it was a deliberate, calculated genocide:
More than one million Armenians perished as the result of execution, starvation, disease, the harsh environment, and physical abuse. A people who lived in eastern Turkey for nearly 3,000 years [more than double the amount of time the invading Islamic Turks had occupied Anatolia, now known as “Turkey”] lost its homeland and was profoundly decimated in the first large-scale genocide of the twentieth century. At the beginning of 1915 there were some two million Armenians within Turkey; today there are fewer than 60,000…. Despite the vast amount of evidence that points to the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide, eyewitness accounts, official archives, photographic evidence, the reports of diplomats, and the testimony of survivors, denial of the Armenian Genocide by successive regimes in Turkey has gone on from 1915 to the present.
Similarly, in 1920, U.S. Senate Resolution 359 heard testimony that included evidence of “[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death [which] have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages.”
In her memoir, Ravished Armenia, Aurora Mardiganian described being raped and thrown into a harem (consistent with Islam’s rules of war). Unlike thousands of other Armenian girls who were discarded after being defiled, she managed to escape. In the city of Malatia, she saw 16 Christian girls crucified: “Each girl had been nailed alive upon her cross,” she wrote, “spikes through her feet and hands, only their hair blown by the wind, covered their bodies.” Such scenes were portrayed in the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, some of which is based on Mardiganian’s memoirs.
Whereas the genocide is largely acknowledged in the West, one of its primary if not fundamental causes is habitually overlooked: religion. The genocide is usually articulated through a singularly secular paradigm, one that factors only things that are intelligible from a secular, Western point of view—such as identity and gender politics, nationalism, and territorial disputes. Such an approach does little more than project modern Western perspectives onto vastly different civilizations and eras.
War, of course, is another factor that clouds the true face of the genocide. Because these atrocities mostly occurred during World War I, so the argument goes, they are ultimately a reflection of just that—war, in all its chaos and destruction, and nothing more. But as Winston Churchill, who described the massacres as an “administrative holocaust,” correctly observed, “The opportunity [WWI] presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race.” Even Adolf Hitler had pointed out that “Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention.”
It’s worth noting that little has changed; in the context of war in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, the first to be targeted for genocide have been Christians and other minorities.
But even the most cited factor of the Armenian Genocide, “ethnic identity conflict,” while legitimate, must be understood in light of the fact that, historically, religion accounted more for a person’s identity than language or heritage. This is daily demonstrated throughout the Islamic world today, where Muslim governments and Muslim mobs persecute Christian minorities who share the same race, ethnicity, language, and culture; minorities who are indistinguishable from the majority—except, of course, for being non-Muslims, or “infidels.”
As one Armenian studies professor asks, “If it [the Armenian Genocide] was a feud between Turks and Armenians, what explains the genocide carried out by Turkey against the Christian Assyrians at the same time?” The same can be said about the Greeks. From a Turkish perspective, the primary thing Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks had in common was that they were all Christian “infidels.”
According to a 2017 book, Year of the Sword: The Assyrian Christian Genocide, the “policy of ethnic cleansing was stirred up by pan-Islamism and religious fanaticism. Christians were considered infidels (kafir). The call to Jihad, decreed on 29 November 1914 and instigated and orchestrated for political ends, was part of the plan” to “combine and sweep over the lands of Christians and to exterminate them.” As with Armenians and Greeks, eyewitness accounts tell of the sadistic eye-gouging of Assyrians and the gang rape of their children on church altars. According to key documents, all this was part of “an Ottoman plan to exterminate Turkey’s Christians.”
Today, from Indonesia in the east to Morocco in the west, from Central Asia in the north, to sub-Sahara Africa—that is, throughout the entire Islamic world—Muslims are, to varying degrees, persecuting, killing, raping, enslaving, torturing and dislocating Christians; where formal Islamic groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS), Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, etc., hold sway, Christians and other “infidels” are literally experiencing a genocide. (See my book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians — or my monthly “Muslim Persecution of Christians” report — for a comprehensive and ongoing account of the “great crime” of our times.)
To understand how the historic genocide of Armenians and Assyrians is representative of the modern day plight of Christians under Islam, one need only read the following words written in 1918 by President Theodore Roosevelt; however, read “Armenian” as “Christian” and “Turkish” as “Islamic,” as supplied in brackets:
the Armenian [Christian] massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey [the Islamic world] is to condone it… the failure to deal radically with the Turkish [Islamic] horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense.
Similarly, if we “fail to deal radically” with the “horror” currently being visited upon millions of Christians around the Islamic world, we “condone it” and had better cease talking “mischievous nonsense” of a utopian world of peace and tolerance.
Put differently, silence is always the ally of those who would liquidate the “other.” In 1915, Adolf Hitler rationalized his genocidal plans, which he implemented some three decades later, when he rhetorically asked: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
And who among today’s major politicians speaks—let alone does anything—about the ongoing annihilation of Christians by Muslims, most recently (but not singularly) seen in the Easter Sunday church bombings of Sri Lanka that left over 300 dead?
Note: Chapter 4 of the author’s recent book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, documents how the first “genocide” of Armenians at the hands of Turks actually began precisely one millennium ago, in the year 1019.
Ibrahim is a widely published author, public speaker, and Middle East and Islam specialist. His books include Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West (Da Capo, 2018), Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (Regnery, 2013), and The Al Qaeda Reader (Doubleday, 2007).
Ibrahim’s writings, translations, and observations have appeared in a variety of publications. He is currently Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute; and Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
The coronavirus affecting Nigeria is dominating the headlines which has pushed news reports of Christians being slaughtered by Islamists even further to the back burner.
April 16 – A Christian student was killed in an attack by Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Kaduna state on Thursday night (April 16), a week after a pastor was slain at his church building residence in southern Nigeria, sources said. According to area residents, After his college in northwest Nigeria was closed due to the coronavirus, Sebastine Stephen was visiting his home in a suburb of the city of Kaduna, when armed Fulani attacked at about 11:30 p.m. , reported Morning Star News.
“Sebastine Stephen was shot when the armed Fulani herdsmen attacked Gbagyi Villa area in Chikun Local Government Area in the southern end of the city of Kaduna,” area resident Hosea Yusuf told Morning Star News. “Stephen raised alarm, warning residents about the invasion of our community as he was still outside at the time the herdsmen came to attack the community. The herdsmen instantly shot him and then proceeded to enter one of the houses close to them, where they kidnapped a couple.”
“The Fulani herdsmen were over 50 carrying sophisticated guns and shooting sporadically,” Chris Obodumu told Morning Star News. “After they killed the young man, Sebastine Stephen, they then broke into the house of Mr. Jack Nweke and abducted him with his wife, leaving behind their three children.” He said he feared the herdsmen may return to attack again. Gbagyi Villa community leader Martins Emmanuel said the herdsmen simultaneously attacked both Gbagyi Villa and the nearby area of Mararaban Rido.
April 14 – Six children and a pregnant woman were among nine people that Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed in north-central Nigeria 0n April 14, sources said.
About a dozen herdsmen armed with rifles and machetes raided Hura-Maiyanga village, in the Miango area of Kwall District in Plateau state’s Bassa County, shouting the jihadist slogan “Allahu Akbar [God is greater],” sources said.
“They were armed with machetes and AK-47 rifles as they attacked us,” Hanatu John, a woman who survived the attack, told Morning Star News. “They attacked our village at about 8 p.m., and they were shouting, ‘Allahu Akbar!’ as they shot into our houses.” The assailants were speaking Fulfulde, the Fulani language, as they shot into homes, she said.
“Most families had already retired into houses to sleep when these Fulani gunmen came into the village and were shooting into houses. As the herdsmen shot at us, we all ran out from our houses into the surrounding bushes. Some of the herdsmen chased after us and shot at us, while others were burning down our houses.”
“Hura hamlet of Maiyanga village in Kwall District, Miango Chiefdom in Bassa Local Government Area, Plateau state was invaded on the night of 14th by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen, who surrounded the entire area and unleashed mayhem on the unsuspecting natives,” Mwantiri told Morning Star News by text message. “As a result, nine persons were gruesomely killed and two injured while 33 houses were completely torched by fire. Most of the persons killed were children.”
The ages of the children were 3, 6, two were 7, 15 and an unborn baby. Over 250 persons, mostly women and children, have been displaced.
Miango resident Grace Gye sent a message to the Plateau state government on April 15, calling on state and federal governments “to protect the people and their property.” She questioned why Fulani herdsmen were moving about freely in spite of a lockdown in the face of the novel coronavirus.
The Rev. Ronku Aka, a former Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) pastor and now community leader of the Irigwe ethnic group, lamented incessant attacks on predominantly Christian communities.
“So many of my people have been killed over the years, including the attack of last night, In spite of promises from the government to my people, the herdsmen have continuously been attacking our communities.”
“I am begging the international community to come to the aid of our people! this killing is too much,” Aka told Zenger. “More than the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, the Fulanis are killing my people. Despite the lockdown,” Aka told Zenger News.
The attack on Maiyanga comes on the heels of attacks by herdsmen in the area last month. On March 31, Christians were killed at Ancha village; the next day three more Christians were slain in the predominantly Christian community of Nkiedow-hro village, and seven others were killed in Hukke village. On Jan. 14, 2018, armed herdsmen killed one Christian and wounded two others in an attack on Maiyanga village.
There is also a report shared on April 16 of Moses Gata, a resident from a targeted village, being abused by authorities after he criticized Nigerian police and military for withdrawing from a region where Muslim militants have killed at least 20 Christians.
“I blamed the security for withdrawal of soldiers at the checkpoints and hence the attacks when it was barely a week after the withdrawal,” Gata told Zenger News, explaining why he may have been targeted for retaliation.
“I also complained about the government inability to set up programs such as bringing relief materials to homeless people, rehabilitation program, resettlement program, reconstruction program of any sorts,” he said.
He claimed the captain told him, ’You’re going to respect the uniform from now on, aren’t you, little boy!’ as he hosed me down from head to toe in ice cold water.” Gata said he was ordered to roll back and forth on the concrete porch of a temporary army barrack for close to two hours until he was rescued by an elected official who had heard from family about his predicament.
April 13 – Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria decapitated two Christians in Benue state.
According to residents, herdsmen ambushed two members of a Catholic church in Ologba village at about 8 a.m. on Monday. “Oche Alaade and his friend who had visited the village were traveling out of the village on their way back to Obagaji town where they reside when they were ambushed by the Fulani herdsmen and their heads cut off,” area resident Louis Oguche told Morning Star News in a text message. Oyaje Sule, uncle of Oche Alaade, confirmed the killings in a statement issued to local press on Monday evening. The murders follow a herdsmen attack on two Christians the previous week who are receiving hospital treatment for their wounds, Sule said. Agatu, a predominantly Christian area in the north-central state of Benue, has been under siege by herdsmen in the past four years, with many Christians killed and displaced.
April 11 – A group of herdsmen in Plateau state on shot a Christian farmer dead.
Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 30-year-old Christian farmer Mabur Mallo Gwang in Maiduna village, Daffo District of Bokkos County, area residents said. Armed with guns and machetes, four armed herdsmen forced their way into the victim’s house attacked him. Neighbors fled into the nearby bushes when they heard the gunshots, The victim was a member of the local Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) congregation. Yusuf Machen, chairman of the Bokkos Local Government Council, confirmed the attack when contacted by Morning Star News. “We are deeply saddened about such incessant attacks on the communities in Bokkos Local Government Area,” Machen said.
Herdsmen have attacked Christian communities in Bokkos County over the past three years, as well as Christians in the counties of Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Jos South, Mangu and Riyom, residents told Morning Star News. In the Daffo area in the past two years, more than 40 Christians have been killed, 11 communities destroyed and more than 7,000 people displaced, they said.
April 10 – In southern Nigeria’s Delta state, church members identified two armed men who came to the church building the night of April 10 and shot and stabbed pastor Stephen Akpor as Fulani herdsmen. He was 55.
Pastor Akpor, whose residence was on the church premises, was praying and counseling members of his church in Ibusa at about 8:30 p.m. at Breakthrough Cathedral, a local fellowship of the Celestial Church of Christ, church leaders told Morning Star News via text messages. “Two herdsmen came to a branch of our church, Celestial Church at Ibusa in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta state, where they shot him as he was praying and counseling five members in the church,” a senior leader of the church, Isaiah George, church, told Morning Star News.
Pastor Akpor reportedly retreated to his room before the assailants shot him through a window. The pastor’s wife was inside the building at the time, but she and the other church members escaped unhurt, George said. “The herdsmen shot the pastor several times and then stabbed him to death,” he said.
Another church leader, Peter Lotobi, said he received a phone call at the time of the herdsmen attack and immediately contacted police. “By the time the police got to the church, the herdsmen had already killed the pastor and retreated from the church premises,” Lotobi told Morning Star News. “His corpse was removed and taken by the police to the mortuary of General Hospital, Ibusa.” Pastor Akpor reportedly is survived by five children along with his wife.
Attacks by armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen, most of them in the north-central part of the country, have drifted to southern Nigerian states as far back as 2016. Recently Muslim Fulani herdsmen in southern communities have reportedly taken over farmlands.
March 22 – Herdsmen attacked Div-Nzaav village in Kwande County as Christians were about to begin worship in the village church. “The Fulanis attacked us on Sunday; they shot and killed Tarfa Simon, while Ngusonon Kighir, a woman and member of our community, was cut with a machete,” Amande said in a text message to Morning Star News.
The attacked members of the Universal Reformed Christian Church (Nongu u Kristu u i Ser u sha Tar, or NKST) who escaped fled to Jato-Aka village, he added. “The herdsmen also kidnapped two Christian women from the village who were rescued a few days after the attack,” Amande said. “These attacks against us by the herdsmen have become incessant for several years.”
March 5 – Herdsmen also attacked Mbanyiar village in Guma County at about 2 a.m., residents said. Oliver Tyoor Chado of Mbanyiar said the herdsmen kidnapped his wife and destroyed houses, food and animals belonging to Christians.
“The herdsmen, who were about a dozen, were armed with AK-47 rifles,” Chado told Morning Star News. “My wife and two other members of our village were kidnapped and taken away by the herdsmen; but they were eventually rescued by security agents after they were tortured by the herdsmen.” He said displaced Christians have fled to Daudu town.
March 6 – In Guma County, seven NKST members were killed when Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked villagers at a funeral wake in Chongu village, sources said. Chongu resident Zaki Usuah he and others were holding a wake at about 11 p.m. when the Fulani herdsmen attacked. “The wake was for one of our deceased elders in our church, NKST church, who was to be buried the following morning at Chongu,” Usuah said. “Suddenly we heard sounds of gun shots all around us. Those killed in the attack include Chikwa, Taza Abuur, Tarnum Yanum and four others.”
March 3 – In Abaji village three weeks earlier, also in Kwande County, armed herdsmen stormed the area in droves, residents said. They attacked at about 10 a.m on March 3, according to area resident Aloysius Yaga.
“Eight of our people were killed, and six others were kidnapped by the herdsmen during the attack,” Yaga told Morning Star News by text message. “The herdsmen shot indiscriminately at us and injured many others through machete cuts. I narrowly escaped being killed.”
March 2 – In northwestern Nigeria, Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Niger state on March 24 killed at least 20 people in two predominantly Christian villages and on March 2 kidnapped eight Christians in raids on a mission station, sources said.
The attacks on the villages of Galkogo and Zumba, killing more than 20 people, displaced 3,000 people, area residents told Morning Star News.
In Niger state’s Shiroro County, Fulani herdsmen raided a school in Maruba run by Calvary Ministries (CAPRO), kidnapping four missionaries, two volunteer staff members, another staff member and one student, according to Niyi Gbade, the ministry’s national director. Ask God to release them unharmed now,” Gbade told Morning Star News in a text message. The school’s head teacher was shot and received hospital treatment, he said. “Pray for the remaining missionaries on the base, that they will not be kidnapped, and that those being held should be released from any form of captivity,” Gbade said.
Herdsmen also raided Global Glorious Mission in Gofa, Shiroro County, on March 22, forcing missionaries and students to flee into bushes, according to a mission press statement last month. “The Fulani herdsmen entered, ransacked and looted our Gofa field of Shiroro LGA, Niger and environs,” the statement read. “Some of the brethren have gone back in the night, and some returning this morning. Please stand with us in prayer for God’s intervention over this menace.”
In the past year, armed Fulani herdsmen have carried out a series of raids on Christian communities in the northwest, sending people fleeing to camps for the displaced.
On Jan. 30, (CSI) issued a genocide warning for Nigeria, calling on the Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council to take action. The warning was issued in response to “a rising tide of violence directed against Nigerian Christians and others classified as ‘infidels’ by Islamist militants in the country’s north and middle belt regions.’
Dr. Samson Ayokunle, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President said, “Christians have become an endangered species in their own country. “Nigeria is under a siege orchestrated by the murderous bloodthirsty and criminally-minded Boko Haram terrorists, Fulani terrorist herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers.” He also called the government to account for its inaction in the face of the escalating conflict and the culture of impunity in Nigeria.
Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, went to the United Kingdom last week to discuss trade and investment amid increased criticism from church leaders back home who say the government is effectively enabling attacks on Christians in the country.
“They [the government] are using the levers of power to secure the supremacy of Islam, which then gives more weight to the idea that it can be achieved by violence,” Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto told the charity Aid to the Church in Need earlier this month. “With the situation in Nigeria, it is hard to see the moral basis they have to defeat Boko Haram.”
The bishop spoke out after the beheading of 10 Christians by the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) on Christmas day and an attack by the Islamist group Boko Haram on Christmas eve in which seven people were killed.
“The only difference between the government and Boko Haram is Boko Haram is holding a bomb,” the bishop said, adding the Buhari government had created the environment in which Islamist groups like Boko Haram could thrive.
“It is not a lie that this government is favoring Islam,” said Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam, a prominent evangelical leader in Nigeria, pointing at how Buhari’s political appointments are all Muslim while Nigeria’s population is a nearly even balance of Christian and Muslim.
There have been too many unfulfilled promises, he told Nigeria Everyday. Para-Mallam has been an advocate for the release of Leah Sharibu, a Christian teenager who was abducted by Boko Haram almost two years ago and is believed to still be detained by the group. Last year Buhari promised her family he would do all he could to bring her back. “If the government is truly committed to ending some of these impunities, the crises and the attacks on Christians would have stopped, a lot more could have been done to achieve this,” said the pastor.
Nigeria is 12th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian. Just as in 2019, Nigeria’s score for violence was at maximum, due to attacks by Islamist Fulani militants, Boko Haram and other armed groups. Some 1,350 Nigerian Christians lost their lives in the violence.
(Voice of the Persecuted) As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving and the blessings of God and family, again we ask for you to remember millions of our brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted. Many brothers and sisters worship in secret. Large numbers are in hiding, refugee camps, brutal prisons or held as captives completely cut off from their families. Their crime? Choosing faith in Jesus Christ and refusing to deny him as their Lord and Savior. It’s critical that we remember the Persecuted Church and stand in solidarity with them. Therefore, can you place a setting on your holiday table in remembrance of our persecuted family in Christ? The empty place setting at your Thanksgiving dinner table will serve as a reminder to pray for all those wrongfully imprisoned and being persecuted for their Christian faith around the world.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:18-20
As we sit down to dinner, praise the Lord giving thanks that we live in a nation with protected religious freedom and the right to worship our Lord without fear of being persecuted. Remember to include our persecuted Church family in our prayers. Ask your family and friends if they can join you to pray daily for those suffering. Let’s get America praying!
Please share a picture of the place setting on your social media pages with the hashtags #Thanksgiving and #NotForgotten. It greatly encourages the persecuted to see others are remembering to pray for them. Share your photo with us so we can pass it along to them.
Praying for the peace of our Lord to wash over you and your families. That anger or animosity can be put aside and love is shared by all at your gatherings. May you and your family spend the day counting all your blessings and thanking God for every single one. That you will shine the Light with a heart full of love allowing nothing to steal your joy. That my friends is a personal choice we can all choose this day, regardless of our situations or the people around us.
Happy Thanksgiving and may God greatly bless you!
Lois Kanalos, Founder and the Voice of the Persecuted Team
‘Shocking’: Cradle of Christianity on the Verge of Collapse as Turkey Turns Northern Syria into Deat
By Chris Mitchell—Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to continue an assault that has turned parts of northern Syria into a death zone. Erdogan made his announcement just days before a scheduled White House meeting with President Donald Trump. Erdogan’s invasion, which he calls “Operation Spring Peace,” seeks to create a so-called “safe zone” completely free of the Kurds, a US ally in the fight against ISIS. — Dave Eubank of the Free Burma Rangers on the front lines and told CBN News that “there has been constant fighting since the invasion” despite reports of Turkey agreeing to a cease-fire.
“There’s never been a cease-fire, not one day. Airstrikes by drones, regular airstrikes, artillery, mortars, Turkish tanks. I mean shooting right at us,” he explained.
Eubank says the United States’ decision to leave the area left a vacuum on the battlefield.
“Once we stepped back – whom? – here came the Turks and the Free Syrian Army, most of who were jihadis. And they fled, they ran for their lives, there were 300,000. Massive ethnic cleansing that now America is a part of. And it’s not completely genocide because no one’s hanging around to be killed, because they know they will be killed,”
Eubank has watched Turkey’s NATO army work side by side with virtual terrorists. Read more
Nigeria (Morning Star News) – A pregnant mother of two children was among three Christians killed by Muslim Fulani herdsmen in north-central Nigeria the night of July 14 and morning of July 15, sources said.
Margaret Wakili, a 27-year-old member of the Baptist Church in Ancha village, Plateau state, was slain on her farm at about 10 a.m. on July 15, area residents told Morning Star News.
The herdsmen attacked the Christian communities of Ancha, Tafigana, Kperie, Hukke and Rikwechongu, killing the three Christians and burning down 75 houses and two church buildings, according to area residents Patience Moses, Zongo Lawrence and Chinge Dodo Ayuba.
Ancha village was the scene of an attack two years ago, when Fulani herdsmen killed 22 Christians, all members of the Baptist Church in the village.
Moses told Morning Star News by phone that Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked the villages on the night of July 14 and the early hours of July 15. In Tafigana village, Bassa County, she said, they killed Thomas Wollo, 46, and his son, Ngwe Thomas Wollo, 7.
“Both of them were ambushed and killed in Tafigana village as they were returning to their home after attending a church program at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Tafigana, at about 8:30 pm,” she said.
Lawrence, of Miango town, told Morning Star News that the herdsmen beheaded the elder Wallo after killing him. He said attacks on Christian communities in the area have heightened, with one village or another attacked nearly every day.
“We have been experiencing daily attacks by these Fulani herdsmen in our communities, most especially on Sundays during worship hours or Thursdays when church activities are held,” he said.
Lawrence said that 75 houses with food stores and two church buildings were burned down.
“The herdsmen destroyed farm produce worth millions of naira, and a lot of domestic animals were killed in the two villages,” he said.
The attacks on the farms occurred on July 14 as Christians were in worship services in the villages, he said.
Ayuba, another resident of the area, confirmed that Wollo and his son were killed on July 14.
“The attacks by the herdsmen continued on Monday morning with another village, Ancha, attacked, and a woman killed,” Ayuba said. “As a people, we are continuously under attack, and nobody seems to be hearing our cries for help, while killing of our people has now become a routine.”
Two other area Christians were killed in prior attacks. On July 7 in Kperie village of Kwall District, also in Bassa County, the herdsmen ambushed and killed a Christian identified as Ezekiel Audu, 25, at about 9 pm., Moses said.
“Christian residents said Audu was riding his motorcycle in company of his friends when they were ambushed and shot by the herdsmen,” she said. “He was a member of ECWA [Evangelical Church Winning All] church in Kperie village.”
Prior to the July14-15 assaults, the herdsmen also attacked Hukke and Rikwechongu villages, destroying crops on farms belonging to Christians.
On May 3 at about 10 p.m., the herdsmen had attacked the same two villages, killing a Christian identified as 63-year-old Di Zere. Zere was killed in his room when the herdsmen broke into his house as he and his family were sleeping. His corpse was burnt, and his 10-year-old daughter sustained gunshot wounds.
Lawrence said Fulani herdsmen have killed 17 area Christians this year.
“We are left without rescue,” he said. “Houses were burnt and razed down, alongside many churches. Farm produce has been destroyed, while many with gunshot wounds are currently in hospitals. Hundreds of our people have been killed by the Fulani herdsmen in the past three years.”
Enugu State Shooting
In southeastern Nigeria’s Enugu state, Fulani herdsmen shot and wounded a Catholic priest and one of his parishioners on Wednesday (July 17), sources said.
The Rev. Ikechukwu Ilo of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, in Numeh, was shot as he and Chika Egbo drove along the Numeh-Nenwe Highway in Nkanu East County at about 7 p.m., according to a church press statement.
The statement from the Catholic Church quotes the priest as saying that those who attacked them were armed herdsmen.
“As we drove towards the village, the Fulani killer herdsmen, who spoke both in English and Fulani languages, opened fire, trying to force us to stop,” Ilo said. “Seeing that we were not ready to cave in to their intimidation, they started raining bullets on our vehicle at close range, and in the process, shot me at my ankle and shoulder while the other victim was shot in her leg and waist.”
The Rev. Benjamin Achi, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, told Morning Star News by phone that the attack on the priest and parishioner was carried out by Fulani herdsmen.
“Fr. Ilo and the woman with him are currently receiving treatment at a Catholic Church health facility, the Annunciation Specialist Hospital, Emene, Enugu state,” Achi said.
Police also on Friday (July 19) confirmed the attack.
“The Enugu state command of the Nigeria Police Force through its operatives are investigating the attack on a priest identified as Rev. Fr. Ikechukwu Ilo of St. Patrick Parish, Numeh on Wednesday July 18, 2019, along the Numeh axis of Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State,” police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu said in a press statement.
There is a history of attacks on Catholics in the state. In October 2016, herdsmen kidnapped two priests as the clergymen carried out pastoral duties in their local parishes. One of the kidnapped priests, the Rev. Aniako Celestine of St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Ukana, Udi County, was kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen while carrying out pastoral duties in the town of Ezeagu.
The second kidnapped priest, the Rev. Chijioke Amoke of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Onicha Enugu Ezike in Igboeze North County, was also kidnapped by armed herdsmen, diocesan officials reported.
Another Catholic priest, the Rev. Lazarus Nwafor, in August 2016 was killed by herdsmen when they attacked Attakwu town in Enugu state. The Rev. Callistus Onaga, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, stated then that Nwafor was cut several times in the attack by the herdsmen on the Attakwu Christian community in Nkanu West County.
Such attacks by Muslim Fulani herdsmen have adversely affected churches and crippled productive activities in the area, church leaders say.
Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population, while Muslims living primarily in the north and middle belt account for 45 percent.
Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.