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Relentless Persecution of Nigerian Christians

Last year more Nigerian Christians were killed for their faith in Christ than any other nation. Between Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021 at 4,650, up from 3,530 the previous year, according to Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List report. The number of kidnapped Christians was also highest in Nigeria, at more than 2,500, up from 990 the previous year, according to the WWL report.

Recent reports

Christian Student in Sokoto, Nigeria Stoned to Death

 A Christian student stoned to death at a college in northwest Nigeria on Thursday (May 12) was falsely accused of blaspheming the prophet of Islam because she had refused to date a Muslim, sources said.

Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu, a 200-level student at Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, the capital of Sokoto state, was beaten, stoned to death and her body set on fire, area residents said; a video showing the attack reportedly appeared on social media on Thursday (May 12). In the video, an unidentified man reportedly rages in the Hausa language that he killed Yakubu and set her body on fire.

Yakubu, a member of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in her native Tungan Magajiya town, Rijau County in Niger state, was falsely accused of blaspheming Muhammad by a Muslim whose advances she had refused, said David Ayuba Azzaman, senior pastor at The King Worship Chapel and Ministries, Inc. in Kaduna city. Read more

Kidnapped Priest in Kaduna, Nigeria Killed by Captors

A Roman Catholic priest was among 45 Christians abducted by Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists who raided at least six villages in Niger state in early March in the city of Kaduna, in northern Nigeria. He was killed around April 18-20, according to church officials.

The Rev. Joseph Aketeh Bako, parish priest of St. John’s Catholic Church, was kidnapped at about 1 a.m. on March 8 from his home at the church premises in the Kudenda area of Kaduna city, Kaduna state, in a raid that killed a security guard. The Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Kaduna, Christian Okewu Emmanuel, released a statement on Wednesday (May 11) stating that the captors killed Bako, and that information about his death was withheld until investigations could verify it. Read more

Children among 29 Christians Killed in Plateau State, Nigeria

Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria killed eight Christians in Bassa county, Plateau state on Thursday (May 5), after slaughtering at least 21 others in another area of the county in April, sources said.

At least two children were among those killed in the Thursday night attack on Cinke and Zarama villages in Kwall District, Bassa County, and the herdsmen also wounded two Christians, a spokesman for the predominantly Christian, ethnic Rigwe said.

“The attack is no doubt the continuous perpetration of terror and mayhem in Rigwe land in an attempt to forcefully eject the peace-loving Rigwe people from their ancestral land, as well as complete annihilation of the entire tribe,” Davidson Malison of the Irigwe Development Association (IDA), said in a press statement. “The attacks have become a daily affair as the marauders have assumed [they are] an ‘immuned’ set of people and are feeling untouchable, daring the authorities concerned.” Read more

At Least Eight Slain in Attack on Christian Area of Nigeria

Homes burned down in assault by Islamic extremists. At least eight people were killed in an attack on Tuesday evening (May 3) by Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists on a predominantly Christian village in northeastern Nigeria, sources said.

In the latest of several attacks by the Islamic extremists on Christian communities in Chibok County, Borno state, ISWAP militants stormed Kautikari town after 6 p.m., not only shooting people dead but looting properties and destroying many homes, area residents said.

“Kautikari community is right now being attacked by ISWAP (Boko Haram) terrorists,” area resident Musa Nkeki told Morning Star News in a text message. “Your prayer is urgently needed for God’s intervention.” Read more

Christians Killed as ISWAP Expands to Taraba State, Nigeria

At least 19 slain in two states. Terrorism by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) stretched into Taraba state, Nigeria for the first time on April 19, killing six Christians, sources said.

After an explosion killed the six Christians and wounded more than a dozen others at Christian-owned market where alcohol was served in Isware, Ardo Kola County, ISWAP released a statement on a telegram messaging channel asserting that it had detonated the explosive at “a gathering of infidel Christians,” according to local news reports.

ISWAP, an offshoot of Boko Haram, described its operatives as “soldiers of the caliphate in central Nigeria.”

Police spokesman Abdullahi Usman said in an April 20 statement that six persons were killed, and that more than a dozen wounded people were receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo. Read more

Herdsmen and Others Kill 18 Christians in Northern Nigeria

Assailants burn down 92 homes. Fulani herdsmen and others on Tuesday night (April 26) attacked four villages in Kaduna state, Nigeria, killing 18 Christians and burning down 92 houses, sources said.

The killings took place in three of the four villages. In Kauru County, the assailants killed 11 Christians in Ungwan Rimi village, six in Ungwan Magaji village and one at Kitakum village, said Abel Habila Adamu, president of the Chawai Development Association (CDA), in a press statement.

“Despite the ongoing peace talks between the Fulani herdsmen and the Christians of host communities in Tsam Chiefdom by relevant stakeholders, international organizations and NGOs, yet peace seems to be elusive as there are continuous attacks on the peace-loving people of Ungwan, Rimi Ungwan Magaji and Kitagum communities, all in Kamaru ward of Tsam Chiefdom, Kauru LGA, Kaduna state,” Adamu said.

He said the attacks injured seven Chritians and destroyed 92 homes. Read more

VOP Note: Please keep our Nigerian brothers and sisters in your prayers. Pray also for those who do not know Christ.

The Ignored Pandemic: 360 Million Christians Persecuted Worldwide

(by Raymond Ibrahim) The year 2021 “saw the worst persecution of Christians in history”—with an average of 16 Christians butchered for their faith every single day.

This is according to the World Watch List-2022 (WWL), which was recently published by the international humanitarian organization, Open Doors.  The report ranks the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted for their faith. Annually published and released at the beginning of each year, the WWL uses data from field workers and external experts to quantify and analyze persecution worldwide.

According to the WWL-2022 (covering from Oct. 1, 2020 – Sept. 30, 2021), “over 360 million Christians suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith—a rise of 20 million from last year. The number represents one in seven Christians worldwide. This year records the highest levels of persecution since the first list was published 29 years ago…”

For this same reporting period, 5,898 Christians were murdered “for their faith,” a number representing a 24% increase from 2021 (when only 4,761 Christians were killed).  Additionally, “6,175 believers [were] detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned,” and 3,829 Christians were abducted.

Perhaps even more reflective of the hate for Christianity, 5,110 churches and other inanimate Christian buildings (schools, monasteries, etc.), were attacked and profaned.

Crunching these numbers into daily averages, the above statistics mean that every single day around the world, more than 16 Christians were murdered for their faith; 27 were either illegally arrested and imprisoned by non-Christian authorities, or abducted by non-Christian actors; and 14 churches were destroyed or desecrated.

For the first time since these WWL reports were published, Afghanistan, which for years was usually ranked the #2 worst nation (following North Korea) shot up to the #1 spot, meaning “Afghanistan is now the most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian.”  Additionally,

Read full report at Gatestone Institute here

2 dead, others injured in attack on Christian community near church in Quetta

Blood on the ground following an attack at a church in Quetta, Pakistan

Pakistan: We received information that two members of the Christian community were killed and between 5 to 9 others injured in a shooting incident near a church in Quetta. The incident occurred when worshipers were leaving the Sunday service at a church in Essa Nagri area of the provincial capital, DawnNews reported.

In a drive-by shooting, gunmen opened fire on the members of the Christian community and managed to flee the scene. Victims were rushed to a Quetta medical center, but two of the worshipers succumbed to their injuries. Screams and wailing was heard as the two bodies were brought in covered with white sheets at the Hospital.

A day after Easter Sunday, four members of a Christian family were also killed by gunmen while travelling on Quetta’s Shah Zaman road to celebrate with relatives. Later, the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack. Officials confirmed the Christians were targeted for their faith.

In December, nine people were killed and 30 injured when  suicide bombers attacked the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church on Quetta’s Zarghoon Road. At least two suicide attackers had struck the Bethel Memorial Church while Sunday service was ongoing. There were 400 worshipers inside the church when the assault started. The Islamic State also claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Islamic State (ISIS) has created a branch in Pakistan and Afghanistan by recruiting established militants.

Pakistan is experiencing a continuing rise of aggression and violent persecution against the Pakistani Christian community. The latest incident is the second attack deadly on Christians in the area, this month. Please pray believers in Pakistan.

VOP is on the ground in Thailand helping Christian asylum seekers who’ve fled persecution in Pakistan. Please Join hands with us to spread the love of Jesus. Keep us in your prayers as we try to raise the needed funds for the relief mission. If you feel led to help, please consider our mission and donate, today. Go with us to Thailand through your blessings  to share with these dear brothers and sisters who have suffered so much. God bless you and your families.

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