In a matter of days, suspected Fulani militants killed and kidnapped dozens of Christians in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, according to reports.
Morning Star News, which chronicles Christian persecution in multiple nations, reported that on March 17, 46 Christians and several children were kidnapped by what was believed to be members of the ethnic group of herdsmen.
Terrorist groups comprised of the largely Islamic Fulani lineage have waged violence against Christian villages and farmers for years, resulting in thousands of deaths and, many allege, gross neglect from the Islamic-majority Nigerian government which they say does little to respond and quell the violence.
While Nigeria is roughly 50% Christian, heavily-armed Islamic militant groups frequently threaten peace and security across many regions in Nigeria, as purely opportunistic bandits often target Christian schools and communities as they are perceived as softer targets, demanding tens of thousands of dollars in ransom to return victims.
In total, 16 men, 30 women, and an untold number of children were abducted by the armed militants in the village.
“The herdsmen terrorists invaded our village, Agunu Dutse, while the Christian villagers were sleeping,” a resident of the majority-Christian Agunu Dutse village, in Kachia County, told Morning Star News. “Please be in prayer for these Christians being held captive in an unknown location at the moment.”
The names of those abducted were listed as Danjuma Yusuf; Judith Obadiah; Theresa Amos; Alheri Amos; Afiniki Rabo; Adamu Lawrence; Alkali Inusa; Peace Stephen; Bobo Stephen; Baby Stephen; Janet Anthony; Patience Philip; Precious Philip; Eunice Mathew; Godiya Ishaya; Stephen Magaji; Joseph Stephen; Celestine Everest; Joshua Adamu; Roseline Joshua; Moses Adamu; Joel Moses; Anita Moses; Josephine Solomon; Luka Livinus; Amanta Luka; Israel Linus; Joshua Audu; Supreme Michael; Michael Yunana; Rose Michael; Martins Vincent; Lauretta Yunana; Naomi Zachariah; Comfort Everest; Lilian Everest; Patience Titus; Samaniya Linus; Caroline Linus; John Luka; Shedrack Luka; Benjamin David; Louis David; Alkali; Timothy; and Isaiah Luka, according to another resident.
“Please pray along with us, most especially at this trying moment,” said Luke Godwin Waziri of the Agunu Dutse village.
Just days later, as The Christian Post reported, 32 residents of the Kagoro town in Kaura County were killed by over 100 herdsmen and terrorists as dozens of shops were destroyed.
“My mum’s family houses were all razed down, and one of my cousins was burned to death in their house,” one resident said. “We haven’t been able to reach some of our relatives. Lord please, this is too much for us.”
Christians in the area grieve “the continued killings, kidnappings, banditry, and the unimaginable evil going on in our state unabated without any substantial action by the government and security forces,” said Rev. John Joseph Hayab, chairman of the Kaduna state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
“Kaduna state citizens are tired of the government’s rhetorical responses without concrete action taken to protect lives and property. Accordingly, we want to hear and see the killers and kidnappers arrested, as the government’s usual media condemnation whenever there is havoc is not good enough,” he added.
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