“Christians are being hunted and killed because they say we are infidels,” declared Pastor Adamu Musa after a group of small villages in Maingo, Plateau State, Nigeria was attacked by gunmen last weekend, during the night of 31 July – 1 August 2021. Seven people were killed and several others injured, including Pastor Adamu himself who sustained a gunshot wound. An estimated 275 buildings were burnt down in the predominantly Christian area.
“At the mercy of gunmen because of our faith”
“A whole village was razed; we counted the houses one after the other,” said Lawrence Zongo, National Publicity Secretary of a local youth movement, saying also that the population were “at the mercy of gunmen because of our faith”.
Christians in Nigeria’s Northern and Middle Belt states continue to be targeted with violence like this. And it is escalating.
Kidnappings of Christians are also on the rise, often children and young people snatched from their schools and colleges, most recently about 120 taken in one night from Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna State.
Warning of a Christian genocide
Many incidents of anti-Christian violence go unreported, so estimating the total death toll over time is hard. Mike Pompeo, former US Secretary of State, has cited a figure of 1,500 Christian deaths in the first half of this year. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has warned of a potential “Christian genocide”.
Whether the attackers are Fulani militants or jihadi terrorists from Boko Haram or the Islamic State West Africa Province, for the Christian victims of violence it is the same suffering. “Killings, kidnappings, rape, maiming and the destruction of properties” – as summed up by the Congress of Northern Nigeria Christians after eighteen villagers died when two villages were stormed in Zangon Kataf, Kaduna State, on 9 and 11 July.
Your gift brings practical help
Barnabas Fund provides aid for the survivors of violent attacks, and helps those who have fled to settle and establish themselves in safer areas: food, sleeping mats and blankets; materials to rebuild homes.
£5 ($6.50; €6) could buy a pack of roofing nails
£15 ($20; €18) could buy 50 kg of maize,
£27 ($34; €31) could buy 2 sleeping mats and 2 blankets
£44 ($55; €51) could buy a bundle of zinc roofing sheets
Please help today.