Christians in Nigeria faced a new set of horrors on Oct. 31, when suspected Fulani herdsmen reportedly attacked a village, killed at least one believer, harmed two others, and kidnapped 25 more.
Listen to them on the latest episode of “Quick Start.”
The horrific event unfolded in the village of Ungwan Baka, located in the Kaduna state, with Emmanuei Yusuf, a resident, telling Morning Star News some of the details.
“The Christian villagers were attacked in the early hours of Tuesday,” Yusuf said. “The injured victims are currently being treated in the hospital.”
This reportedly isn’t the first assault on locals, with Herbert Chindo, another resident, noting it was at least the third time such an attack had unfolded.
“Please pray for us,” Chindo pleaded.
Fulani herdsmen are members of a predominately Muslim group known to target Christians.
On Oct. 29, just two days before the aforementioned assault, Fulani herdsman and other militants reportedly killed six believers in Benue state.
These horrific attacks came after terrorists purportedly kidnapped more than 30 Christians in the Kaduna state Oct. 7, capturing believers at gunpoint while they were working on a farm.
“Over 30 Christian farmers who were cultivating a farm have been abducted in one fell swoop,” resident Victor Dabo told Morning Star News. “Please pray for the Chikuri Christian community.”
According to Open Doors USA, the Hausa-Fulani Muslim Herdsman comprise about 38 million people who speak various languages and are nomadic. Members of the group have varying degrees of adherence to Islam.
These events aren’t new, though international attention on the matter is continuing to grow. Violence in Nigeria broke through the international news cycle in May 2022 when Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu, a 25-year-old Christian college student, was stoned to death by a Muslim mob.
The killing of Yakubu, a Shehu Shagari College of Education student in Sokoto, Nigeria, was purportedly filmed and shared on social media, horrifying the international community.
“We have videos, we have photos which I’ve seen, unfortunately,” Joel Veldkamp, head of international communications at persecution watchdog Christian Solidarity International (CSI), told CBN’s Digital last year.
She was killed over comments purportedly made on WhatsApp, a messaging app.
“She was in a WhatsApp group that was dedicated to studies at her school,” Veldkamp explained. “Someone asked her in this group how she got such a good score on a test, and she replied, ‘Jesus.’”
This reportedly angered Muslims in the group, who negatively reacted. Yakubu then purportedly left a voice message saying the Holy Spirit would protect her and that the WhatsApp group’s purpose was for schooling, not “religious nonsense,” as Veldkamp explained. She was subsequently murdered.
Despite Christianity being vibrant in many parts of Nigeria, the nation’s northern region has experienced an uptick in extremist attacks against believers.
As CBN Digital previously reported, Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List ranks Nigeria as the sixth most dangerous place in the world to live as a Christian.
And, according to an International Christian Concern (ICC) staff member in Nigeria, Fulani militants have killed 2,469 Christians since 2016, burning and torching churches and homes along the way.
“Nigeria is a country torn by decades of violence. From large, organized terror groups to small, disconnected communal militias, the violence in Nigeria is endemic,” the ICC’s new Persecutors of the Year report reads. “Sitting between the Christian-majority south and the Muslim-majority north, the central Middle Belt region is home to much of the violence.”
The text continues, “Christians experience a disproportionate share of the killings and kidnappings, turning the country into a dangerous place to live.”
Pray for peace and stability in Nigeria amid these ongoing assaults.
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