A Nigerian-based NGO has issued a report which estimates that over 3,400 Nigerian Christians have been killed so far for 2021, with an additional 3,000+ have been kidnapped.
Violence against Christians has been on the rise in the West African nation for years, but 2021 has seen a sharp increase as they are targeted by Islamist extremist militants and radicalized Fulani herdsmen alike.
International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) released their report this month, which estimates that in just 200 days, 3,462 Christians were murdered in such attacks, as The Christian Post reports.
The Nigerian government has been criticized for failing to address the violence, which is often portrayed in international media as merely a conflict over grazing lands, in some cases due to climate change.
As the Nigerian state, which is currently in the throes of near-collapse, does not keep adequate records of attacks on Christians, Intersociety is forced to collect its data through an amalgamation of local and international media reports, reports from international human rights groups, and eyewitness accounts in addition to government accounts.
The civil society group’s estimates for Christian deaths in 2021 is just 68 shy of the figure reported by Open Doors USA for the total number of Christian deaths in all of 2020, and it is only the end of July.
Intersociety’s report explains that “The country’s security forces have so fumbled and compromised that they hardly intervene when the vulnerable Christians are in danger of threats or attacks, but only emerge after such attacks to arrest and frame up the same population threatened or attacked.”
Nigeria currently ranks number nine on Open Door’s World Watch List of worst nations for Christians, due to its “extremist” violence.
The nation is the most populous on the African continent, and over 49% of the population is Christian.
Intersociety accused the Nigerian government of failing to hold Islamic extremists accountable for their violence, and even paying ransom for kidnappings in some cases (which the Nigerian government denies).
“It is deeply saddening that till date those responsible for the anti Christian butcheries in the country have continued to evade justice and remained unchecked, untracked, uninvestigated and untried; leading to impunity and repeat-atrocities,” the report states.
“The surviving victims and families of the dead victims are also totally abandoned by the Government of Nigeria.”
If you appreciate the work we are doing for faith, family, and freedom, please consider a small donation to help us continue. Thank you so much!