Christian persecution: Armed gangs WIPE OUT 15 villages in Nigeria | World | News | Express.co.uk
Dozens of people have been killed after the gangs ransacked towns and villages to clear them of all aspects of the Christian faith.
Houses belonging to believers have also been razed with authorities doing little to help, an anti-persecution watchdog claimed.
Open Doors spoke to one Christian who described the broad daylight attack carried out by a group of Fulani – one of Africa’s largest ethnicities.
A spokeswoman said: “One attack took place in broad daylight, as people were about to go to church.
“The assailants chased and killed the villagers and burned down nine churches and many more houses.”
Christian persecution is a major problem in Nigeria which has been exacerbated by the spread of radical Islamic teaching and practice.
The shocked witness said Christians needed more protection from the country’s leader or lives would continue to be lost.
They said: “Despite several calls to the governor and his deputy, and other security apparatus, the government remained silent as the atrocities continued.
“The Fulani were able to carry out their deadly attack. They stayed for hours in the vicinity, moving at will, unchallenged.”
Details of the attack, which took place in north-eastern state of Adamawa earlier this year, have only just emerged.
In the central state of Nasarawa, 25 villages have been destroyed since January 15.
Again, the predominately Christian victims said they had been abandoned by leaders.
A spokesman for the Concerned Indigenous Tiv People group said: “Since the outbreak of the crisis on January 15 this year, due to the Fulani /herdsmen attack on our villages, leading to the displacement of Tiv in their ancestral homes, the Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Almakura, has done very little to bring the situation under control.”
Other attacks have taken place in Benue State and across the Middle Belt region of the country. The Army has now been deployed to certain areas in order to stop the violence.
A spokeswoman for Open Doors said: “Believers experience discrimination and exclusion, and violence from militant Islamic groups, resulting in the loss of property, land, livelihood, physical injury or death; this is spreading southwards.
“Corruption has enfeebled the state and made it ill-equipped to protect Christians. Rivalry between ethnic groups and raids by Fulani herdsmen compound the persecution. Converts face rejection from their Muslim families and pressure to recant.”