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(CBN) ISIS militants reportedly have murdered 50 people in a gruesome attack on several villages in the African coastal nation of Mozambique.
The victims were herded onto a soccer field in a northern village and then beheaded, according to eyewitness accounts reported by the state-owned Mozambique News Agency.
Local police also said scores of women and children were abducted in the attack and several homes were burned. Any villagers who tried to flee were captured and brutally murdered. The murders continued for almost three days.
“They burnt the houses then went after the population who had fled to the woods and started with their macabre actions,” Bernardino Rafael, the head of Mozambique’s police, told a press conference, according to The Times of London.
The militants shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) while firing their weapons and setting homes on fire, according to media reports.
Fighting erupted in the Cabo Delgado province of the country in 2017 after an armed group with ties to ISIS began carrying out deadly attacks there.
The unrest has led to the deaths of more than 2,000 people and displaced more than 430,000 in the mainly Muslim province, according to the BBC.
Even though the area is rich in energy products, the people who live there have seen little of the reported $60 billion made from the province’s natural gas reserves. The extremists have used the ever-present poverty and unemployment to recruit young people in their quest to establish Islamic rule or a caliphate over the area.
Mozambique’s government has asked for help from other nations in trying to put down the revolt. The government says its military needs specialized training before confronting the militants, the BBC reported.
But human rights groups also warn that government security forces are also to blame for torture and killings while trying to restrain the militants’ activities in the province.
Dear Prayer Warriors, we are asking for you to join in sober, vigilant prayer on the conference call with us. Our persecuted brothers and sisters are desperate for our prayers.
7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:7-10
We will lifting up the nation of Mozambique
Pray for Bob Fu
What do you think about when you hear about China? A pandemic? Trade wars? Political corruption?
When I think of China, I think of a vibrant and growing church that often faces severe persecution for their faith. I think of Christians who consider prison a “seminary of suffering.” I also think of my friend, Bob Fu, whom I have written about over the past few weeks.
Bob was a student leader during the Tiananmen Square Massacre. He and his wife were imprisoned for their faith, and eventually made their way to America where Bob started China Aid in support of religious freedoms in China.
Recently, a Chinese billionaire (living in New York City) made an “elimination list,” in which he named over 30 Chinese human right activists living in the USA, and stated that they should be killed. Bob Fu is at the top of his list.
Government authorities had to evacuate Bob, his wife Heidi, and their two daughters to a safe house as reports of a planned bombing at his house had surfaced. Even now, Bob and his family remain in an undisclosed location, and are unable to return to their home or their ministry office.
I spoke with Bob this week, and his spirits are high. He is no stranger to persecution. The death threats are real, and his family is under considerable stress. Heidi’s mother is so upset over her daughter’s safety that she has been hospitalized.
When I first wrote about this situation, I received many emails from our friends and supporters committing to pray for Bo Fu and his family. I also received emails questioning the motives of the Chinese billionaire calling for Bob’s death. His English name is Miles Kwok, and he is a self-proclaimed anti-communist activist. However, Kwok is actively using his money and influence to try to kill Bob and leading Chinese human rights activists.
“Bob needs our prayers and our support. The enemy is trying to silence one of the leading activists supporting our persecuted brothers and sisters in China.”
“There is no question,” Bob shared with me “Miles Kwok is working with the Chinese Communist government. This is the way the deception works. He accuses me of being a fake pastor and a Chinese spy, and says he is against communism. Only, the opposite is true.”
Bob needs our prayers and our support. The enemy is trying to silence one of the leading activists supporting our persecuted brothers and sisters in China. Recently, an estimated 200 pastors and church leaders gathered in Midland, TX (Bob’s hometown) to rally in support of Bob and his family.
Bob Fu is a close friend of my family, and a partner with RevelationMedia. He has helped us translate and distribute our content to China. Please remember him, his family, and his ministry in your prayers.
With all of the negative news surrounding China, it is easy to forget the plight of our brothers and sisters there. I encourage you not to let the enemy turn our attention away from China and its persecuted Christians. Together with them, we are just pilgrims in this land on our way to eternity with our King!
As those in the Body of Christ suffering persecution, we will also pray for:
Leah Sharibu and Alice that they will be set free from Boko Haram captivity.
On Jul 08, 2020 · Leah Sharibu was kidnapped along with 109 other students on February 19, 2018 when Boko Haram attacked a boarding school in the city of Dapchi, Maiduguri Diocese, in north-eastern Nigeria. A month later, some of the girls died in captivity and all the others were released, except Leah.
Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison, for his family, the children, and the church in China.
On December 28 the police raided the Early Rain Church and arrested Pastor Wang Yi, his wife Jiang Rong, and ten elders of the well-known 750-member church for holding “illegal” services. Some 100 believers were detained, questioned, and later released. Pastor Wang’s wife was also released. Pastor Wang remained in detention.
Anita, an Iranian Christian, persecuted by the Islamic regime.
The release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. He is serving the second year of his six-year sentence, recently reduced from ten years.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani converted to Christianity at the age of 19 and leads a 400-member house church in Rasht, Iran. Since 2006,
Iranian authorities have consistently harassed and detained Pastor Nadarkhani and his family. In 2010, the authorities sentenced him to death for apostasy before acquitting him in 2012.
He was tried again in 2017 on false charges of “acting against national security” and promoting “Zionist Christianity,” for which he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. By July 2018, plainclothes agents raided his home to execute the sentence, beating and apprehending him and using a taser gun on one of his sons. He is now incarcerated at the notorious Evin prison near Tehran.
The harvest for the Kingdom of God.
“2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Leader
Prayer Conference Call Details
(Morning Star News) – A 16-year-old girl, a father of nine children and a church pastor were among 11 Christians killed by Muslim Fulani herdsmen this week in southern Kaduna state, sources said.
On Tuesday (Aug. 18) in Zangon Kataf County, herdsmen attacked Unguwan Gankon village, killing a 16-year-old student, Takama Paul, and another Christian, 30-year-old Kefas Malachy Bobai, a father of three children, Luka Binniyat of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) said.
“Armed Fulani militia invaded Unguwan Gankon village in Gora Ward, Zangon Kataf LGA, and killed two persons and burned seven houses,” Binniyat said in a press statement. “Wary neighbors, however, came to the rescue, and the murderers fled.”
On Monday (Aug. 17) in Kajuru County, he said, herdsmen killed a Christian farmer and father of nine, Bulus Joseph, 48. His wife and three of his children were also attacked but survived, he said.
“Bulus Joseph was murdered gruesomely on his farm at Sabon Gida Idon, along the Kaduna-Kachia road, by armed Fulani militia,” Binniyat said. “He stood up to the killers so that his wife and three children could escape, which they did. But he paid the price with his life, as he was sub-humanly butchered by the cold-blooded murderers.”
Four Christians killed in an attack on a vehicle on Sunday, Aug. 16, (not Monday as previously reported) included a pastor with the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), according to SOKAPU.
The Rev. Adalchi Usman, pastor of an ECWA congregation in Unguwan Madaki village in Kajuru County, was shot dead in an ambush on him and three other Christians by Muslim Fulani herdsmen as they were traveling out of the community, Binniyat said.
Also slain were Christians Mariah Na’Allah of Unguwan Madaki village, Shekari of Unguwan Ali, originally from Anchuna village in Zangon Kataf County, and Ezekiel Maikasa of Gadanaji in Kajuru County, he said.
“Pastor Adalchi Usman, 39, and a father of two, was ambushed while in a commercial vehicle he had boarded with three others,” Binniyat said. “The killers came from the bush and just started shooting at the car. The driver of the vehicle, Danlami Dariya, was abducted and at the time of releasing this statement his whereabouts were still unknown.”
Binniyat confirmed a previous report to Morning Star News from a Bugai village area resident of a herdsmen attack on the community on Sunday (Aug. 16).
Armed Fulani militia attacked the village near Banikanwa, Kachia County, killing village head Dan’azumi Musa, 67; his mother, Kande Musa, 97; and his siblings Aniya Musa, 60, and Angelina Irmiya, 45, Binniyat said.
Six others sustained serious injuries, he said: John Dan’azumi, Danbuzu Anita, Blessing Soja, Patricia Anita, Precious Friday and Mercy Yohana.
“Part of the village was burnt after the attackers looted the village,” he said. “This is to further show that the siege on southern Kaduna communities is still ongoing. The genocide is still much on. For southern Kaduna, the past five years that Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai has been governor, it has been a grim horror tale of blood, destruction, and hopelessness which we shall never forget.”
Enoch Barde, a resident of Abashiya village in Kaduna state’s Kachia County, told Morning Star News that the corpse of Godwin Jonathan Bakoshi, a village Christian who was kidnapped on July 29, was recovered by Christians on Monday (Aug. 17).
Bakoshi, 23, had gone to a farm with two of his brothers and the 12-year-old son of a local ECWA pastor when armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked them on July 29, Barde said in a text message to Morning Star News. Bakoshi was taken captive and killed, but the other three escaped, he said.
“The two brothers who escaped were able to return to the village the following morning after sleeping in the bush,” Barde said. “The third escapee [12-year-old’s name withheld for security reasons] only returned to the village after wandering in the bush for three days and told us that while he was hidden, he heard the gunshot sound when Godwin Jonathan Bakoshi was killed by the Fulani herdsmen.”
Binnayat said that 50,000 Christians have been displaced from 109 villages now occupied by armed Fulani herdsmen in Kachia, Kajuru, Chikun and Kaura counties, all in southern Kaduna state.
“Indigenous rural, Christian communities of southern Kaduna have been sacked by rampaging armed Fulani militia and displaced to various communities and Internally Displaced Persons camps,” he said. “These villages are now under the full occupation of Fulani some for over a year.”
Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) noted in a recent report.
“They adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP [Islamic State West Africa Province] and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity,” the APPG report states.
Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.
The APPG report noted that tribal loyalties cannot be overlooked.
“In 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani, was elected president of Nigeria,” the group reported. “He has done virtually nothing to address the behavior of his fellow tribesmen in the Middle Belt and in the south of the country.”
In January, Christian Solidarity International 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.
The Guardian reports that Jihadists have taken hundreds hostage during a raid in north-east Nigeria. Residents of Kukawa in Borno state had just returned home after almost two years displaced in refugee camps. Also, read a Message To The World from the Archbishop of Kaduna and the Bishop of Kano: “A DARK CLOUD OF VIOLENCE HANGS OVER OUR LAND – Nigeria is in the firm grip of the grim reaper.” READ Full Report
According to an August 4 report, at least 171 Christians were slaughtered by Muslim Fulani herdsmen in the space of roughly three weeks:
And these are only those we know of. In reality, the toll is likely to be far higher. Many thousands are also being displaced by the violence from homes and such livelihoods as they had left after covid lockdown brought economic havoc…. Our news desk has been swamped by such stories for many months, yet this relentless and bloody toll of Christian lives is disturbingly absent from wider mainstream media.
In one of the recent raids, on July 10, Muslim herdsmen massacred 22 Christians — “mostly women and children” — and torched many homes in a farming community. “The Fulani came in and were shooting,” recalled Bilkisu James from her hospital bed. “They killed two of my children [and husband].” They also “hacked another five of Bilkisu’s relatives to death with machetes including a mother and her baby daughter and a mother and her two sons.”
A Muslim neighbor had apparently exposed the Christian family to his invading coreligionists: “Before I was shot,” Bilkisu continued, “I saw the Fulani man who is my neighbour, he even identified me. I surrendered to him on my knees” — to no avail. They shot her in the chest and back and left her for dead, even as she “heard them light the match and set the house on fire.”
The next day, a neighboring village was raided: “ten women, a baby and an elderly man were burnt to death in a house where they had taken refuge. Another seven villagers were injured and four houses burnt out.” On July 19, people attending a wedding celebration were among at least 32 Christians massacred in Fulani attacks.
In a separate “horrific night attack during a torrential rain storm on 23 July, at least seven Christians died… as militants brutally hacked unarmed men and women and children to death with machetes.” The report adds that “This was the second attack on the village within days, with seven murdered in an attack days earlier on 20 July.”
On July 29, Muslim herdsmen murdered another 14 Christians — 13 of whom belonged to one extended family. Only one member of the family remained alive; his wife, all his children, aunt, uncle, brother, and other relatives were slaughtered.
Most recently, armed jihadis stormed the Lion of Judah Church in Azikoro and opened fire on worshippers; four Christians were killed.
Listing more atrocities — there are hundreds through the years — is futile in one article. (For a comprehensive look at Christian suffering in Nigeria and other Muslim nations, see Gatestone’s monthly “Persecution of Christians” reports.)
For now, consider just the month of April, 2020:
- Between April 1 and 2, machete-wielding Muslim herdsmen murdered at least 13 Christians: “[W]e woke up to bury seven people burnt to death… from an overnight attack,” one source said. Those killed “are mostly elderly Christians who were unable to escape as members of the community ran into surrounding bushes during the attack.”
- On April 7, the Fulani herdsmen slaughtered a pastor and three members of his congregation, including a 10-year-old boy. The pastor, Matthew Tagwai, who was murdered in his home, is survived by a pregnant wife and two small children.
- On April 10, the Islamic herdsmen murdered pastor Stephen Akpor, 55. “Two herdsmen came to a branch of our church, Celestial Church… where they shot him as he was praying and counseling five members in the church,” his colleagues said. “The herdsmen shot the pastor several times and then stabbed him to death.” He is survived by his wife and five children.
- On April 11, Muslim Fulani herdsmen shot a Christian farmer dead.
- On April 13, Muslim Fulani herdsmen decapitated two Christians, in a manner that required them to be “buried without their heads.”
- On April 14, Muslim Fulani herdsmen butchered nine Christians, six of whom were children, one a pregnant mother. “They were armed with machetes and AK-47 rifles as they attacked us,” a survivor recalls: “They attacked our village at about 8 p.m., and they were shouting, ‘Allahu Akbar!’ as they shot into our houses.” Thirty-three homes were set ablaze.
- On April 16, Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed Sebastine Stephen, a young Christian student. “The Fulani herdsmen were over 50 carrying sophisticated guns and shooting sporadically. After they killed the young man,” a survivor reported, “they then broke into the house of Mr. Jack Nweke and abducted him with his wife, leaving behind their three children.”
- On April 19, Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed four Christians. “Thirty-eight houses with 86 rooms were also razed down, while about 87 families are affected,” a source said.
- On April 20, “A Christian farmer, Titus Nyitar, was shot to death, and his head was cut off,” an area resident said. Titus was “working on his farm when he was killed by the herdsmen.” Afterwards they “proceeded to the village to burn down houses and kidnapped three villagers.”
- On April 22, Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 12 Christians; earlier, the report notes, they kidnapped a couple as they were being married inside their church.
- On April 23, the Fulani “killed two people, kidnapped another and burned down a church building that included the pastor’s home in attacks on predominantly Christian areas in north-central Nigeria.”
Aside from the most scandalous or spectacular incidents—such as the recent rape and slaughter of a Christian student sheltering in a church—the so-called mainstream media does not report on the bulk of the persecution (lest, perhaps, a pattern emerge, and the attacks seem more ideologically driven, as opposed to mere “crimes”).
“It is as if the lives of Christians no longer matter,” said a Nigerian pastor about the wedding attack that claimed 32 lives:
It is very disturbing that these daily onslaughts on Christians … have been going on far too long unattended by the Federal and State governments…. there are no sympathy visits to the remnant victims in the communities… There are no steps taken to alleviate their sufferings by providing relief materials to them since they have been made internally displaced persons in their thousands.
“I strongly believe,” said a survivor of a recent Fulani attack that claimed the life of his sister and four other Christians, “that some of these security personnel who are Muslims are conniving with these armed men to attack our people…. the sad reality is that our people have made representations to the government at both the state and federal levels and nothing has been done.”
“What is the crime of these innocent people against Fulani herdsmen?” another local asked concerning an attack that left a pastor and a 10-year-old child dead.
For how long shall we continue to experience this killing? For how long shall we continue to beg the government and the security agencies to come to the aid of our people?
Such questions are especially relevant in light of recently released statistics: Since 2009, “not less than 32,000 Christians have been butchered to death by the country’s main Jihadists” — with next nothing done about it, a May report found:
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 [470 by Fulani herdsmen and 150 by Boko Haram], 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.
According to numerous Christian leaders in Nigeria, the reason formerly simple Fulani herdsmen have, since 2015, managed to kill nearly twice as many Christians as the “professional” terrorists of Boko Haram is “because President Buhari is also of the Fulani ethnic group,” to quote Nigerian bishop Matthew Ishaya Audu.
In a January statement, the Christian Association of Nigeria, an umbrella group representing most denominations, further accused “the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari” of “colluding” with the Islamic terrorists “to exterminate Christians in Nigeria.” The Association asked:
Since the government and its apologists are claiming the killings have no religious undertones, why are the terrorists and herdsmen targeting the predominantly Christian communities and Christian leaders?
Some Nigerian leaders go beyond Buhari and blame “the evil called Barack Obama” — in the words of Femi Fani-Kayode, Nigeria’s former Minister of Culture and Tourism. On February 12, the former government official wrote the following on his Facebook account:
What Obama, John Kerry and Hilary Clinton did to Nigeria by funding and supporting [current president Muhammadu] Buhari in the 2015 presidential election and helping Boko Haram in 2014/2015 was sheer wickedness and the blood of all those killed by the Buhari administration, his Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram over the last 5 years are on their hands.
Although President Buhari’s fellow Fulanis have claimed the lion’s share of attacks on Christians since his presidency, Boko Haram — the original scourge of Christians in Nigeria — is still active. Earlier this year, for instance, it released a video of a masked Muslim child holding a pistol behind a bound and kneeling Christian hostage, a 22-year-old biology student who was earlier abducted while traveling to his university. After chanting in Arabic and launching into an anti-Christian diatribe, the Muslim child shot the Christian several times in the back of the head.
Weeks earlier, Islamic gunmen abducted Reverend Lawan Andimi, a pastor and district chairman of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria. After the terrorists demanded an exorbitant ransom for his release — two million euros, which his church and family simply could not raise — they beheaded the married father-of-nine. Earlier, in a January 5 video that his abductors released, Pastor Lawan had said that he hoped to be reunited with his wife and children; however, “[i]f the opportunity has not been granted, maybe it is the will of God. I want all people close and far, colleagues, to be patient. Don’t cry, don’t worry, but thank God for everything.”
The Nigerian government, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah said about the beheading of another 10 Christians earlier this year, is “using the levers of power to secure the supremacy of Islam… The only difference between the government and Boko Haram is that Boko Haram is holding the bomb.”
Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen on Monday (July 20) killed 11 Christians in an attack in Kaduna state, Nigeria, the latest of more than 50 members of Baptist, ECWA and Catholic churches slain since June 12, sources said.
More than 50 armed herdsmen invaded Gora Gan village, in the north-central state’s Zangon Kataf County, on Monday at about 7 p.m., setting dozens of houses on fire, according to the Rev. Isaac Ango Makama, vice chairman of the local chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Seven other Christians were injured in the attack and were receiving treatment at General Hospital in Zonkwa, and many others are missing, he said. Corpses of those killed were taken to the morgue of the same hospital.
The attack brought to more than 500 the number of Christians taking refuge at a camp for the displaced, said Ezekiel James, one of the officials manning the camp.
“We currently have 559 displaced Christians at the Zonkwa Town Camp,” James told Morning Star News by text message. “They are Christians who escaped the attack against Gora Gan village and other villages in the past few days. These internally displaced Christians are in dire need of food items, drugs, and facilities to treat those who are traumatized.”
The attack brings to more than 50 the number of Christians killed in Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacks in southern Kaduna state since June 12, when the Rev. Bulus Bayi of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) was shot dead.
The herdsmen on Sunday (July 19) attacked predominantly Christian Kukum Daji, in Kaura County, killing 18 Christians and wounding 31 others, according to Christian community leader Yashen Sunday Titus. A wedding reception was taking place at the time, he said.
“The herdsmen stormed our village at 10:35 p.m.; they were heavily armed and began shooting at our people,” Titus told Morning Star News. “Some of our villagers are still missing.”
The injured were receiving treatment at a Christian hospital in Kafanchan and at Barrau Dikko Teaching Hospital in the city of Kaduna, he said.
In Kajuru County, Fulani herdsmen on Friday (July 17) attacked Doka Avong village, killing five Christians, including 3-year-old Faith Shagari and Dorcas Shagari, 6. Also slain were Gloria Shagari, 25; Hussaini Daudu, 40; and Ayuba Bulus, 40, sources said.
On the same day in Katchia County, herdsmen attacked Mai-Ido village, killing four Christians and kidnapping 10 others, resident Chris Maiyaki told Morning Star News by text message.
Attacking the southern Kaduna villages of Chibuak and Kigudu on July 9-10, the herdsmen killed 20 Christians, said the Rev. Aaron Tanko, an area Roman Catholic priest.
“Many others are missing, and we presume that they might have been kidnapped,” Tanko said.
Nine Christians were killed in Chibuak on July 9, and 11 were killed in a night raid on Kigudu village on July 10, he said.
“Some people are still missing, so I cannot conclusively say this is the casualty figure,” Tanko said. “Some of those killed are my parishioners, and other Christians of other church denominations. Christians here are at the mercy of Fulani herdsman, as these herdsmen are always well-armed, and they invade our communities and kill Christians at will.”
On July 12 herdsmen killed two other Christians in Anguwan Audu, sources said. The Rev. Gambo Waziri of the ECWA said recent attacks on 20 predominantly Christian communities have displaced 1,200 people.
Herdsmen attacked the villages of Doka, Afogo, Kallah, Gefe and Libere, all bordering the Ladugga grazing reserve, July 2-5, area Christian leader Awemi Dio Maisamari said in a press statement.
“Our communities are still bedeviled with attacks, kidnappings and occupation of displaced communities,” Maisamari said. “Our farmers are still routinely attacked and sometimes killed when they go to their farms. In the latest incidents on July 2 and 5, two women at Doka were seriously wounded, and one man named Yohanna Mutane was killed at Maraban Kajuru respectively.”
Amid numerous kidnapping in May and June, one person was killed and more than 15 held for ransom, he said.
“With happenings like these, our community is yet to know peace,” Maisamari said.
Herdsmen shot ECWA pastor Bulus Bayi to death while he worked on his farm in Sabon Gari Gusawa village, Kauru County, on June 12, sources said. Pastors in northern Nigeria frequently augment their modest salaries as farmer in order to sustain their families.
Luka Binniyat, spokesman for the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), said Kaduna Gov. Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai has shown no concern about the killings.
“Of the scores of gruesome attacks, the governor has never made any sympathy visit to the communities, let alone take steps to alleviate their suffering by providing relief materials to the displaced,” Binniyat said in a press statement. “Many of these threatened communities have consequently relocated to surrounding communities, thereby creating a very serious humanitarian situation.”
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.
(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.
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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.