At least 1,470 Christians in Nigeria have been brutally murdered by radical Islamic jihadists, with another 2,200 abducted, in just the first four months of 2021.
The heartbreaking number of Christian deaths in the West African nation is the highest since 2014, according to a report by The International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law released this week.
Nigeria’s Northwestern Kaduna state experienced the most Christian deaths at 300, most of which were committed by Muslim Fulani herdsmen. The state of Benue follows, with 200 murdered Christians, followed by the central Plateau state with 90 deaths.
At least 120 Christians have also been slain by the northern Muslim-controlled Nigerian Army in the states of Benue, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Imo, Abia, and Ebonyi.
As for the 2,200 missing or abducted Christians, the report states that Kaduna state topped the list with 800 abductions, 600 of which were indigenous Christians, “including those abducted in Muslim-held areas of Birnin-Gwari, Igabi and Giwa Local Government Areas.” The second-largest number of Christian abductions occurred in Niger state, with 300.
The report cites interviews and open-source reports, claiming that “220 Christians are most likely to have died or been killed in captivity of their abductors.”
“This represents 10% of 2,200 abducted Christians across the country, especially Christian travelers and rural others among them are male and young female farmers including those abducted and raped to death or killed after being raped,” the report goes on.
The report also claims that the Nigerian government is falsely attributing most murders and abductions to “herder-farmer clashes” rather than jihad and other religious motives of the Fulani.
State and federal governments “have made several deliberate attempts to cover the egregious and grisly massacre of Christians in Nigeria by falsely labeling them as ‘herders-farmers clashes,’ or attacks by ‘bandits,’ or ‘killings that cut across Muslims and Christians,” the report declares. “Apart from killings, maiming and abductions by the … Jihadist groups, Governments and local institutions in the Muslim-controlled northern States are also making life very unbearable for their indigenous Christians communities. These include Katsina State where under-age Christian girls are forcefully married to Muslim men and converted to Islam.”
Pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria, saints!
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