The following are among the abuses Muslims inflicted on Christians throughout the month of May 2020:
The Slaughter of Christians
Nigeria: From January 2020 to mid-May 2020, Muslim terrorists massacred at least 620 Christians (470 by Fulani herdsmen and 150 by Boko Haram). According to a May 14 report:
Militant Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram … have intensified their anti-Christian violence … with hacking to death in the past four months and half of 2020 of no fewer than 620 defenseless Christians, and wanton burning or destruction of their centers of worship and learning. The atrocities against Christians have gone unchecked and risen to alarming apogee with the country’s security forces and concerned political actors looking the other way or colluding with the Jihadists. Houses burnt or destroyed during the period are in their hundreds; likewise dozens of Christian worship and learning centers.
The report further states that, since 2009, “not less than 32,000 Christians have been butchered to death by the country’s main Jihadists.”
Earlier this year, Christian Solidarity International issued a “Genocide Warning for Christians in Nigeria,” in response to the “rising tide of violence directed against Nigerian Christians and others classified as ‘infidels’ by Islamist militants…” More recently, in a May statement, the Christian Rights Agenda, another human rights group, expressed concern for “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. To date, no Fulani herdsmen have been arrested and prosecuted over the killings, a development that has helped to embolden them.” It is worth noting that Buhari himself is a Fulani Muslim.
Separately, the Muslim man who murdered Michael Nnadi, an 18-year-old seminarian at the Good Shepherd Seminary, confessed from his jail cell that he did so because the youth “continued preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ” to his captors. According to the May 3 report, “the first day Nnadi was kidnapped … he did not allow [Mustapha Mohammed, his murderer] to have peace” due to his relentless preaching of the Gospel. Mohammed “did not like the confidence displayed by the young man and decided to send him to an early grave.”
Democratic Republic of Congo: Muslim fighters from the Allied Democratic Forces, which earlier pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), murdered at least 17 people, possibly many more, in the Christian-majority (95%) African nation. “They fired several shots in the air,” a local said. “When the population was fleeing, they captured some people and cut them up with machetes.” In late 2019, the same group murdered a pastor after he refused to stop preaching and convert to Islam.
Attacks on Christian Churches, Cemeteries, and Crosses
Greece: Muslim migrants ransacked and transformed a church into their personal toilet. This public restroom was once the St. Catherine Church in Moria, a small town on the island of Lesvos, which has been flooded with migrants who arrived via Turkey. “The smell inside is unbearable,” said a local. “[T]he metropolitan of Mytilene is aware of the situation in the area, nevertheless, he does not wish to deal with it for his own reasons.” According to the report:
This is only the latest incident … [I]t has become extremely common for Greek Orthodox Churches to be vandalised and attacked by illegal immigrants on Lesvos….
As a deeply religious society, these attacks on churches are shocking to the Greek people and calls to question whether these illegal immigrants seeking a new life in Europe are willing to integrate and conform to the norms and values of their new countries.
These continued attacks have ultimately seen the people of Lesvos, who were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, become increasingly frustrated by the unresolved situation that has restricted and changed their lives as they no longer feel safe on their once near crime-free island.
Other incidents on Lesvos include “African immigrants ridiculing and coughing on police in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and thousands of olives trees being destroyed.”
Turkey: On May 8, a man tried to torch a church in Istanbul; the church had been attacked in the previous years, sometimes with hate-filled graffiti. When police detained the arsonist, he said “I burned it because they [Christians] brought the coronavirus [onto Turkey].” Discussing this incident, another report said that “Minorities in Turkey, such as Armenians, Rums and Syriacs [all Christians], as well as their places of worship, are occasionally targeted in hate attacks.”
Two weeks later, on May 22, in broad daylight, a man climbed the fence of a historic Armenian church in Istanbul and proceeded to yank off its metal cross and hurl it to the ground, as captured on surveillance footage. The man, who looks more like a Westernized “hipster” than an ardent Islamist, walks up to and stares at the cross for a while — he even looks at and strikes a pose for the security camera — before attacking the crucifix.
Pakistan: After Friday prayers on May 8, an armed Muslim mob shouting “anti-Christian slogans” attacked and tried to set fire to the Trinity Pentecostal Church in Hakeem Pura. Built 22 years ago, the church was desecrated, and a large cross and part of a wall broken. The Muslim man behind the attack had sold land to the growing church a year earlier, and now wanted it back. A Christian eyewitness said that the mob, “after attacking the walls and the cross, challenging anyone who dare oppose them, fled… Not only was the cross broken, but our hearts were crushed too.”
Separately, Muslim “land grabbers” seized, desecrated, and ploughed over the graves of a century-old Christian cemetery with a tractor. According to the May 22 report:
The Christian community there reportedly protested against the violation and tried to stop the vandalism. However, they were allegedly threatened with guns… [A]ll graves that were destroyed had crosses fixed on the top… [S]ome of the houses occupied by the Christians were demolished and people were forced to flee from their homes. Amid widespread discrimination against the Christian community in Pakistan, the properties owned by the minorities are often subjected to injustice including land grabbing and being the target of criminals. Moreover, the economic disparities and religious bias in Pakistan’s judiciary have increased the struggles Christians face to recover the lost land.
Serbia: On Sunday, May 31, two Muslim migrants entered the St. Alexander Nevsky Church in Belgrade during service and robbed several of the mostly elderly congregants. “There were two of them. They broke into the church during the liturgy, which was in progress, and they stole two purses along with three mobile phones,” a church leader said, adding:
Upon entering the temple, they split up on two sides, and after the people saw what was happening, they managed to catch one of them and take away his mobile phones and the money he stole. The other managed to escape. He took two purses, in one there were 3,500 dinars, while in the other there were 18,000, which was the entire pension of one woman. We handed that young man over to the police, while the other managed to escape. This is an insult. Isn’t anything sacred to people, such as the liturgy? Terrible.
Egypt: On May 30, 2020 — two days before President Trump recognized Global Coptic Day — Egyptian authorities demolished the only Coptic church in village of Koum al-Farag, even though it had stood for 15 years and served 3,000 Christians. According to the report:
The destruction of the church was a punishment for the ‘crime’ of building rooms for Sunday school…. When the work began, some extremist Muslims began to attack Christians.
According to an ancient Islamic tradition, or common law, churches are prevented from being formally recognised or displaying any Christian symbols if a mosque is built next to them.
The authorities decided to solve this issue by demolishing the church, which took a tractor “six long hours,” a Copt recalled:
The decision was not welcomed by the Christians in the village, so they protested by appearing at the site in possession of the documents. However, the police and some radicals began to insult and assault Christians, including women and children. The church leader received so many punches in the face and chest that he passed out.
In a separate attack in the early hours of May 16, “an air conditioning technician threw a Molotov cocktail inside the Virgin Mary Church in Alexandria.” According to the report:
Security camera footage led to his apprehension. Fortunately, no one was injured in this attack. Predictably, however, the prosecutors appear to be [pursuing] an acquittal on the claim that the perpetrator of the religious hate crime is also mentally ill. Based on precedent, it is extremely unlikely that this perpetrator will face any consequences for his attempt to torch a church.
Mozambique: Islamic terrorists attacked a monastery. The four monks residing in it managed to hide and emerge unscathed. However, the hospital they were building for a nearby village was destroyed by the armed Muslims. According to the May 18 report:
Little is known about the insurgents, and until recently there were doubts they were actually islamists, but they have claimed to be fighting for the imposition of Sharia law in the North of Mozambique…. The attack on the monastery, which included the destruction of a hospital that the monks were building in the village, is the second most serious attack against a Christian target since the troubles began. Last month a Catholic mission was also attacked, although, as here, nobody was killed. Other communities have not been so lucky, as the insurgents have left a trail of death and destruction behind them in the towns and villages they attack.
Nigeria: On May 7, a helicopter bombed and destroyed a church. The building was empty at the time; no casualties were reported. According to a local leader,
The helicopter used to hover around the area, dropping some things. We don’t know what they have been dropping but yesterday in the afternoon, the helicopter came and dropped a bomb … [The] Assembly of God church was destroyed including a nearby building…. Hours after the incident, a group of people numbering about 100 pass through the village carrying guns. Some were trekking while others rode on motorcycles. One of them was carrying a flag which is not a Nigerian flag; one other person was making some incantations in Arabic… People have fled the village… The question is who was in the helicopter dropping bomb?… We are very concerned … If it was a mistake by security agencies, they should come out and explain so as to allay the fears of the community.
Algeria: Four Muslim guards responsible for protecting a church vandalized and overturned its statue of the Virgin Mary. According to the report,
[T]he chapel of Santa Cruz built in stones extracted from the mountain of Murdjadjo where it is perched, was the object of an attempted theft… Four looters allegedly destroyed the statue of the Virgin Mary by attempting to steal it. They have even destroyed other holy monuments in their path….
It was later found, however, that the chapel’s four hired guards were themselves the “looters” responsible for the desecration. The report continues:
In addition, the Christian community in Algeria denounces… the intimidation which the faithful are subject to. Many Christians have denounced the series of closings of churches in the national territory. Several evangelical associations and organizations have called for an end to “the increasing pressure and intimidation from the Algerian government.”
Iran: On Sunday, May 17, a Christian cemetery was set ablaze, just two days after the tomb of the biblical Esther and Mordecai was also set on fire on the 72nd anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel. Damage at the tomb — a holy site shared by Jews and Christians — was reportedly minimal. Few other details concerning the burned Christian cemetery aside from video footage showing smoke billowing over its walls are available. A Hindu temple was also reportedly set on fire in May.
France: Unknown vandals cut down an iconic iron cross that had stood on the summit of Pic Saint-Loup since 1911 and was visible for miles around. According to the May 14 report,
While Europe has experienced a growing number of acts of vandalism and profanation of Christian sites, the greatest number of such acts have occurred in France, where churches, schools, cemeteries, and monuments “are being vandalized, desecrated, and burned at an average rate of three per day,” according to reports drawing from government statistics.
Although the identity of the vandals responsible for this latest outrage is unknown, it appears that Western European nations that have large Muslim migrant populations are seeing a disproportionate rise in attacks on churches and Christian symbols. According to a 2017 study on France — which has the largest Muslim population in Europe — “Islamist extremist attacks on Christians” rose by 38%, going from 273 attacks in 2015 to 376 in 2016; the majority occurred during Christmas season and “many of the attacks took place in churches and other places of worship.” Similarly, around Christmas 2016, in a German region where more than a million Muslims reside, some 50 public Christian statues (including those of Jesus) were beheaded and crucifixes broken.
Abduction, Rape, and Forced Conversion of Christian Women
Nigeria: Between March 23 and April 30, six young Christian girls and one older married woman were kidnapped. “We are saddened to report to you the battles we have been fighting even amidst the lockdown,” the Hausa Christians Foundation reported on May 4, adding that it “has been working on the following tragic incidences of abduction and forceful Islamization, despite the fact that the lockdown has limited our efforts.” The statement continues:
The usual practice is that these girls will be forced into marriage and perpetually be abused sexually, physical and emotionally. We are doing our best to rescue these precious lives but our efforts have been truncated by the current government imposed lockdown that has put everything on hold…. The simple reason for the injustice and the persecution we have been subjected to… is because of our faith in Christ Jesus.
Pakistan: Another young Christian girl was kidnapped. According to a May 2 report,
On Sunday, April 26, a 14-year-old Christian girl … was abducted by a group of armed Muslim men… [T]he Christian girl’s family has filed a police report and is begging police to recover their relative…. Myra Shehbaz was abducted by a group of Muslim men led by Muhammad Naqash. Eye witnesses claim that Myra was attacked while she was traveling to her workplace as a domestic worker on Sunday afternoon…. Myra’s abductors forced her into a car and Myra tried to resist…. [The] abductors were armed and fired several shots into the air…. [The girl’s mother] fears her daughter will be raped, forcefully converted is [sic] Islam, or even killed…. [A]n estimated 1,000 women and girls from Pakistan’s Hindu and Christian community are assaulted, abducted, forcefully married to their captor, and forcibly converted to Islam every year.
Egypt: In a May 22 report, Coptic Solidarity, a human rights organization focused on the plight of Egypt’s Christians, made the following remarks:
The indigenous Coptic Christians of Egypt continue to experience increasing persecution, by the government and society…. To illustrate, at least five Coptic women, including some minors, have reportedly been kidnapped or disappeared in just the last few weeks, and Egyptian state security has made no concerted effort to recover them…. Ranya Abd al-Masih, a Coptic wife and mother of three from a town just north of the capital, Cairo… remains hidden despite protests, including from the region’s church, which laments “the total lack of reaction by the authorities.”
A graffiti that rightly causes a lot of agitation. The lettering “Christians must die” can be seen at the Traisen-Markt train station. Above it, in the same style, the words “Allach Akkbar” [sic]. The removal of the graffiti has already begun and will cost about 500 Euros.
Uganda: A Muslim father burned his daughter for converting to Christianity. While traveling with her father, a sheikh (respected elder) of the Muslim community, Rehema Kyomuhendo, 24, heard the gospel and secretly converted. On the night of May 4, while she and her father were staying at her aunt’s home, she called a Christian associate: “As she was sharing Christ with me, I was so overjoyed,” Rehema later explained, “and my father heard my joy and woke up, came from his bedroom furiously and started beating me up with blows, slaps and kicks.” He also shouted that he was “going to kill her.” He broke a gas container, lit the pieces with the unspilt fuel, and began to burn his daughter. Her cries awakened her aunt, who protected her from the sheikh. Last reported, Rehema was expected to need more than a month of hospitalization due to “serious burns on her leg, stomach, rib area, near her neck and on part of her back.” No one has “reported the assault to police for fear that her father might try kill her.”
Pakistan: In another example of abuse of Christians in connection to COVID-19, “an Islamic cleric claims his organization is using COVID-19 food aid to convert non-Muslims to Islam,” according to a May 8 report. Speaking on Pakistani television, the cleric boasted of how when a destitute Christian man came for aid, the “staff of the organization offered him conversion against food which he accepted.” The man was subsequently renamed Muhammad Ramadan, signifying his conversion had occurred during the Muslim holy month. The cleric had added that Muhammad was then fasting (which is ironic considering hunger is what prompted him to convert in the first place).
About this Series
The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world has become endemic. Accordingly, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed in 2011 to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that occur or are reported each month. It serves two purposes:
1) To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, persecution of Christians.
2) To show that such persecution is not “random,” but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Islamic Sharia.
Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; apostasy, blasphemy, and proselytism laws that criminalize and sometimes punish with death those who “offend” Islam; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or second-class, “tolerated” citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination thereof.
Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to Indonesia in the East—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.
Ibrahim’s writings, translations, and observations have appeared in a variety of publications. He is theauthor of the recent book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
One of the most powerful and oft quoted Scriptures is also one of the Scriptures most quoted out of context. Consider 2 Cor 12:9. Typically when we quote a verse, we quote the whole verse. Yet for some strange reason (really not that strange) when we quote some verses we only quote a portion of it.
” And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Now consider the rest of that Scripture ,
“Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
The glory is in the midst of the “infirmity.” In fact we see that the power of God rests upon those who truly discover and encounter His strength in the midst of their weakness. We are never more weak or vulnerable when we are faced with disease and death. And so in the paradoxical Kingdom of God, when we are weak, then we are strong. This strength is what glorifies God. For all of us can glorify God on the mountain-top. Indeed this is the accusation of the Devil in the opening chapter of Job.
Yet only the few can glorify God in the deepest part of the valley, the depths of the dungeon. To glorify God when all is going well is very natural and is something the world understands. To glorify God in the depths of our infirmities, the depths of our dungeons like Paul and Silas, is supernatural and the world marvels at something so other-worldly. Indeed with Paul and Silas we get to see that supernatural power. The building shakes, the the captives doors are loosed and the jailer and his family are saved. All of that began with Paul and Silas glorying in their infirmities and praising God in one of the darkest moments of their life.
I believe peace to be our spiritual barometer. In the midst of a set of circumstances, what is the “atmosphere,’ around us that emanates form the condition of our hearts? Many people stoically go through situations, many are angry and bitter and unapproachable. Yet on the cross, even in the midst of unspeakable anguish, we see Jesus caring for his mother and giving directions for her well being. In saints who walk with the power spoken of in 2 Cor 12:9 we see them minister to others despite their situations. ………………..bro Frank
(Voice of the Persecuted) On Tuesday, Boko Haram Islamist militants killed 69 people during an attack on Faduma Koloram village in the Gubio area of Borno state. Many sustained gunshot wounds with 12 succumbing to their injuries on Wednesday, bringing the total casualties to 81. Nearly a dozen, including women and the head of the village, were said to be abducted.
Witnesses say the terrorists came in cars and on motorcycles killing residents at will in an attack that lasted 2 hours. Women and children fetching water were surrounded by the attackers and heinously gunned down. Livestock were either killed or carries away. The entire village was razed when homes were set ablaze as the militants left.
The community has witnessed deadly Boko Haram attacks in the past. Residents were armed and had been able to repel some of their attacks. However, this one took them by surprise.
After 11 years, the Islamist terror group remains a constant threat to communities in northeast Nigeria. Tens of thousands have been killed in their brutal attacks with over 2 million people displaced in the country.
Extremist attacks and religious oppression.Christians in the northern region and in the Middle Belt suffer from violence perpetrated by Islamic extremist groups such as militant Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram. Such violence often results in loss of life, physical injury, as well as loss of property. As a result of the violence, Christians are also being dispossessed of their land and means of livelihood—and Christians with a Muslim background also face rejection from their own families.
In some northern states, increasing numbers of Christians are dressing like Muslims to make their faith less obvious and reduce the chances of attack. Young Christians in these states are frequently denied access to higher education, and Christians have been asked to give up their faith in order to obtain work. Applications for permits to build churches are ignored. The situation is especially difficult for converts from Islam to Christianity. They usually are assisted in underground locations for fear of being persecuted or even killed. In the north they often have to flee their homes and even the state. This is far less likely to occur in the south.
An estimated 1,350 Christians were killed for their faith from November 2018 to December 2019.
August 2019 in Lau LGA, Taraba State: A conflict between a radical Fulani herder and a farmer was the trigger for attacks and reprisal acts that continued for weeks and resulted in 65 deaths (most of them Christians) and 18 burned villages (with 15 churches, two elementary schools and a health centers destroyed). Security forces that were deployed in the area did not intervene; on the contrary, in June 2019 many youths were arrested during protests against the violence and inaction of the local authorities.
In Riyom, Plateau State in September 2019, three internally displaced Christians were killed by gunmen. Their community had been destroyed by Fulani militants in 2018, and they were still being hosted in other communities. However, the villagers, who wanted to return to their own village, had started to rebuild their houses. For weeks a group of young men would guard their properties at night and monitor security in the area. Three of them were ambushed.
The attack came just two days after the May 11 massacre in Gonan Rogo village in the same local government area that left 18 people dead. Around 11:30 pm, the attackers first struck the home of Jonathan Yakubu, 40, killing him, his wife Sheba, 32, and three children Patience, 13, Revelation, 6 and Rejoice, 4. From there, they moved to another home where they killed Kauna Magaji and her daughter Faith before shooting and killing newly married Saraunia Lucky, 25, in a nearby compound while she held her newborn in her arms. Although the bullet struck the baby’s head, the child survived and was taken to a nearby hospital.
Despite COVID-19 curfews in place, our field is reporting multiple attacks in northern Nigeria that have killed at least 27 people in the last three weeks, including four women and at least eight children.
Christians in the Kajuru local government area of Kaduna State have faced continued targeted attacks by Hausa-Fulani Islamic militants. Our field is asking for prayer for displaced Christians and those courageous ones who have returned to their all-but-destroyed communities—all facing severe food shortages due to the global crisis. Pastors there are leading congregations of people on the run while they themselves face desperate shortages. When Open Doors asked believers the reason for their courage to return, they shared, “We must return so that the jihadists will not sing a song of victory over the Church of Jesus Christ.”
Pray that the Lord will raise up Christian leaders who can influence the government at all levels with Christian values.
Please pray for wisdom and urgency for the Muslim lead government to take sufficient action to protect the lives of all affected by the violence in the Middle Belt, Muslims and Christians alike.
Pray to the Lord to raise up missionaries and workers as an enormous missionary effort is needed among Fulani people who remain largely without Christ and without hope.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will be at work in the lives of Fulani militants to convict many of their sin and that the gospel will speed ahead and change lives.
Pray for protection and favor for the pastors returning to their village
Pray that in the midst of these circumstances, the Church, the saints will have the courage and boldness to keep proclaiming Christ to those around them.
Please pray for the Lord’s comfort to all who have lost loved ones in attacks. Pray that they would comprehend and sense the depths of Christ’s love in the midst of their sorrow.
Pray for special protection of the ex Muslim Christians that they can live out their faith and experience God’s presence.
Pray that Christian NGOs and others will bring trauma counseling, spiritual as well as economic support to the church.
Pray to the Lord that Christians love God so much that they can forgive and love their neighbors.
Pray to the Lord that He will defeat the forces of darkness and greatly enlarge the communities of the saints, the church.
Again, we want to lift up persecuted witnesses for the Lord and pray for Leah Sharibu and Alice, pray that they will be set free. And also lift up pastor Wang Yi to be released from Prison and ask for the release for Anita, a Christian convert recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for sharing the Gospel in Iran
You are invited to join us on Thursday, June 11 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church.
Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator
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What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own. With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.
On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.
Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!
NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers. Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. Since the passing of Brother Blaine Scogin, we thank you for your patience as we have transitioned into this new season. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.
Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.
Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Women and children were among nine Christians shot or hacked to death in an attack on Wednesday (June 3) in north-central Nigeria, with seven others kidnapped, sources said.
While more than 30 corpses of slain Christians still lay in nearby villages from prior attacks, Muslim Fulani herdsmen invaded predominantly Christian Tudun Doka village, Kajuru County in Kaduna state, early in the morning, area residents said.
“We woke up around 5 a.m. when we heard sounds of gunshots,” survivor Rifkatu Hassan told Morning Star News by phone. “The herdsmen attacked our homes and shot at us and cut others with machetes.”
She said most of those killed were women and children who were members of Assemblies of God, Baptist, Catholic and Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) churches. Hassan identified eight of them as Richard Yusuf, Kefas Yusuf, Fidelis Wada, Kachia, Genesis Soja, Victoria Gyata, Rose Soja and Rahab Soja.
At least two children were injured in the attack, 3-year-old Elizabeth Samaila and Rita Friday, 8, said area resident Alheri Magaji.
“May the blood that keeps being spilt cause sleep to depart from all those who carry out these attacks,” Magaji told Morning Star News.
Seven other Christians were taken away at gunpoint, area resident Williams Kaura Abba said by text message. He identified the same Christians killed as Hassan did, also unsure of the identity of the ninth victim.
Kajuru County authorities confirmed that nine people were killed in the attack.
“Tudu Doka village in Agwala Dutse general area was attacked this morning,” the chairman of the Kajuru Local Council, Cafra Caino, said in a press statement on Wednesday (June 3). “A detailed inventory of casualties is being taken. My heart goes out to all the families affected; may God grant the souls of the victims eternal rest.”
The attack follows similar herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Idazau, Etissi, Bakin Kogin, Dutsen Gora, Ungwar Gora, Pushu Kallah and Magunguna villages. More than 30 bodies of people killed in late May in 15 villages had yet to be retrieved as residents fled and Muslim Fulani herdsmen have taken them over, said Jonathan Asake, president of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) in a May 30 press statement.
“Our people cannot go there and recover their dead bodies,” Asake said. “In fact, over 30 Christians who were killed their corpses are still in the bush. Christians in the affected villages have not been allowed to go and recover these dead bodies for burial. The sad reality is that these corpses are already decomposing.”
The attack on Tudun Doka has left 60 people still unaccounted for, he said.
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.
Muslim Fulanis destroyed homes in attack on Ungwan Anjo village, Kaduna state. (Morning Star News)
(Morning Star News) – Armed Muslim Fulanis killed two Christians in Kaduna state, Nigeria on Saturday (May 16), days after two others were kidnapped, sources said.
Christians Isa Dauda and John Zaman were killed in the 8 p.m. attack on the predominantly Christian village of Ungwan Anjo, near Godogodo town in Jema’a County, area resident Aku Joshua Shai told Morning Star News in a text message. He said four churches in the village were closed as all Christians had fled.
“Almost all houses in Ungwan Anjo were burnt down,” Shai said. “Churches affected in Ungwan Anjo include the ECWA [Evangelical Church Winning All], Anglican, ERCC [Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ], and the Redeemed Christian Church of God [RCCG].”
Two days earlier, leaders of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) described attacks in the state as genocidal.
“The ongoing attacks on our communities points to the fact that there is a deliberate ethnic cleansing ripping across southern Kaduna which the authorities have turned a blind eye to,” SOKAPU President Jonathan Asake said at a May 14 press conference in the city of Kaduna.
Asake said that Fulani herdsmen attacked Gonar Rogo, Kajuru County on May 11, the next day set fire to homes in Bakin Kogi, displacing residents, and also struck Idanu village.
“In the early hours of Wednesday (May 13), the murderous gang of terrorists moved to Makyali, where several persons were killed. In Agwala village, an old lady was mercilessly hacked to death,” Asake said. “In total, these attacks have so far claimed 27 lives within 48 hours, while the injured have been taken to various medical facilities for attention. Efele, Ungwan Modi, and Ungwan Rana villages were also attacked, and hundreds of residents displaced.”
Some 15,000 Christians were displaced in the Kajuru attacks, he said, “without any intervention from the authorities.”
The SOKAPU leader said that the herdsmen invaded and occupied the predominantly Christian community of Galiwyi in Chikun County, holding some women captive and making them their sex slaves.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all attacks, invasions and killings are properly documented. SOKAPU has the names of towns and identities of victims of these mindless attacks on our communities, with some of them widely published,” Asake said. “We insist that the recent invasions are a continuation of a deliberate and entrenched agenda of subjugating and occupying our ancestral lands.”
Fulani Muslims kidnapped two Christians in Kaduna state last week, while in neighboring Plateau state police rescued the abducted 6-year-old daughter of a university lecturer shot and killed by kidnappers, sources said.
Muslim Fulanis in Kaduna state’s Giwa County on May 12 abducted two members of a Catholic church in Zango Tama and then returned on May 14 to attack the village, local resident Nenfort Thomas told Morning Star News in a text message.
Abducted were Amina Yakubu, a former financial secretary of the Women’s Fellowship group of St. Ann’s Catholic Parish in Zango Tama, and Ayuba Sarkin Noma Udoji, a member of the parish, Thomas said.
Thomas said the armed Fulanis then returned to attack the village in the early hours of May 14.
“The armed Muslim bandits attacked us with guns and machetes,” Thomas told Morning Star News. “The attack against us lasted for two hours. The situation is now calmed, but there is much tension as to whether our church members kidnapped two days earlier will be released or killed by the bandits. It’s on this note that we plead to our Christian brethren to earnestly pray for the release of these innocent members of our parish.”
Amid growing lawlessness in Kaduna state, a Baptist pastor who is chairman of the Kaduna chapter of CAN condemned recent killings and kidnappings there.
“Recently, the general frenzy is that despite the continuing attacks on hapless Kajuru communities, those responsible for ensuring the security of lives and property are only but playing lips service to the security challenge,” the Rev John Hayab said in a May 14 press statement. “Apparently, the honesty and commitment towards seeking lasting solutions to wanton destructions of lives are lacking, resorting to the usual propaganda. No responsible government anywhere will act as if nothing was happening when a section of her citizens are killed.”
Christian Lecturer Killed
While it was unknown if he was targeted for his faith, in Plateau state a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the University of Jos was shot dead at about midnight of May 15 by assailants who broke into his home and kidnapped his 6-year-old daughter, according to published reports.
Dr. Kennedy Nendi Drengkat, a member of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), was reportedly at his home at the staff quarters of the university. The assailants abducted his young daughter, Joanna Drengkat, and security personnel and vigilantes recovered her and another kidnapped person after a shoot-out with the fleeing kidnappers in hills on the border of Plateau and Bauchi states, police said.
Officers, mobile units, operatives from an anti-kidnapping unit and vigilantes were deployed and sighted the kidnappers on a hill where a shoot-out began, Plateau State Commissioner of Police Edward Egbuka told reporters.
“In the process, one of the kidnappers named Ali Mohammed of Narabi was shot on his right leg and was arrested with one AK-47 rifle,” Egbuka said.
Police recovered 29 rounds of ammunition from Mohammed and rescued the previously kidnapped Chiboze Joseph as the wounded assailants fled, Egbuka said.
“We also extended our search for the last kidnapped victim to the hills around Babale village in Jos North Local Government Area, and upon sighting the combined teams, the hoodlums opened fire on them,” Egbuka said. “The teams overpowered the hoodlums, which led to the rescue of the kidnapped victim, Joanna Drengkat, 6 years old, unhurt. The manhunt for the fleeing suspect continues.”
Young Joanna spoke at a police press conference on Sunday (May 17), saying four assailants came to her house.
“When they shot my father, they asked me to follow them, and one of them was dragging me along, because they were moving very fast, and we ended up in the bush on top of a hill,” she said. “They told me that they would not release me if my people did not give them money. While they were talking, we started hearing gunshots. At that point, the kidnappers abandoned me and ran away, and the police came and rescued me.”
The Rev. Soja Bewarang, a COCIN pastor and chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Plateau State Chapter, commended Plateau police in a press statement.
“The CAN commiserates with the wife, family, and Jos University community on the sad murder of their promising husband, relation and lecturer, Dr. Drengkat, with the prayer that God Almighty will comfort you all,” Pastor Bewarang said. “The CAN leadership commends the gallantry of the police and admonishes them to hold onto and multiply their commitment in fizzling out crimes and apprehending criminals.”
In a broadcast on Sunday (May 17), Plateau Gov. Simon Bako Lalong offered condolences to the family of the slain lecturer and said security forces had arrested a suspected mastermind behind kidnappings in the Eto-Baba, Bauchi Road area.
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.
To join the digital prayer vigil,
go to Zoom.com on May 14th at 4 pm (EST).
Meeting ID: 999 5251 1334
This is Leah’s third birthday in captivity. On February 19, 2018 her school was attacked by the Islamic jihadi terrorists, Boko Haram, along with 109 of her classmates. Only Leah is still in captivity. She refused to denounce her Lord Jesus and convert to Islam. So with Boko Haram she remains.
Leah’s situation is hauntingly similar to that of the April 14, 2014 abduction of the Chibok Girls, the 276 Nigerian schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno State, also by Boko Haram. We must not forget neither Leah nor those Chibok girls that remain separated from their families somewhere.
The prayer vigil is the culmination of seven days of prayer. We missed the prayer points during those days, but here they are listed so you can add them to your prayers. The Leah Foundation lists actions and advocacy ideas in which you can participate, and ICON has pictures for each of these seven days of prayer:
Day 1: Pray for Leah Sharibu’s Safe Release
Day 2: Pray for Leah Sharibu’s Family
Day 3: Pray for the Defeat of Terrorism in Nigeria
Day 4: Pray for World Leaders to Call for Action in Nigeria
Day 5: Pray that Leah and her Family are Encouraged Today
Day 6: Pray for Other Girls in Captivity
And then today, Pray for Leah on Her Birthday
Please join us in honoring Leah, a courageous Christian young woman, on her birthday, and praying for her release. This prayer vigil will be a great encouragement and comfort to her parents, and all of the Christians in Nigeria who are facing unspeakable violence from Boko Haram and the Fulani jihadists. They will know that they are not forgotten. They know that God is with them, but please make sure they know that we are, as well.
Lois Kanalos, Voice of the Persecuted with Faith McDonnell, Institute on Religion and Democracy
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