Victims of Islamic attacks in Nigeria “Please share our stories to the world.”
In this past month, there have been several severe attacks on Christians in Nigeria. Although some news outlets picked up on it, much of it has been overshadowed by the events in Christchurch, New Zealand. However, what is happening in Nigeria should not be ignored, least of all by Christians.
Nigeria is one of the main Christian nations in the world. About half of this nation’s population, considers itself Christian. That is more than 80 million believers. Nigeria has the 6th largest Christian population in the world. It has also an active mission movement, sending out thousands of missionaries.
The other half of Nigeria’s population is mostly Muslim. Muslims are more predominant in the North, and Christians in the south. In the North, Boko Haram has been causing endless trouble, and the abduction of Christian schoolgirls and their forced marriages to Muslim men are fresh in many people’s memories. However, a greater threat has now arisen, predominantly in Nigeria’s middle belt, the Fulani herdsmen.
They have been responsible for thousands of deaths in the past decade, but recently their aggression has spiked. Partly this can be accounted for by climate change, which has forced the herdsmen further south in search of pasture. This leads to clashes between the Muslim Fulani herdsmen and the predominantly Christian farmers.
However, that is only part of the story. Many Christians feel that tensions that have existed for a long time are now being exploited by forces who want to Islamize Nigeria. Christians note that many attackers, although they are Fulani, are not the people they have lived alongside for so long, but rather come from over the borders, from Niger or Mali. Also, the herdsmen used to be armed with sticks, but now they have AK47s. Their attacks in the state of Kaduna are emboldened by new policies which aim to reduce Christian freedom, made by the Muslim governor, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai since he came to power.
The herdsmen’s attacks are ruthless. Villages are ambushed, with some setting fire to houses, others shooting those running away and others hiding to catch those who have escaped. Women and children are killed alongside elders and men. We have received pictures from our contacts of the aftermaths of such attacks, that are to gruesome to publish. Between February 10 and March 11 of this year, 148 people were killed in the state of Kaduna alone. The death toll comes close to 300 when other states are counted as well.
Thousands fled and are now in camps. They have lost their loved ones, their homes and their crops. Many feel like the government does little to protect them. Both the governor and his deputy of the state of Kaduna are Muslim and so is the president. The message they implicitly send is that the rights of Christians are not important, and even if they don’t arm the herdsmen downright, as some Christians suspect, they do little to bring security.
We asked a sister from the area what she would like to ask Christians in other countries to do. Her response:
We wish Christians from other countries to share the plight of Christians in Northern Nigeria to the whole world. We are oppressed and intimidated by our own people because of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We watch in broad daylight, as our mothers and fathers are killed, children and youth are murdered, our homes and properties burnt to ashes. We have been displaced from our homes. We have become refugees in our own land. Please share our stories to the world. Secondly, let them pray to get directions from the Lord on how they can be of help to us materially.
Pray for the faith of the families that have lost their loved ones especially those that watched their innocent children being killed. Pray for the faith of Christians in Northern Nigeria. Pray that God may appoint God-fearing men and women to rule our Nation. Finally, let them pray that God will frustrate the evil plan of the president and Muslim communities to Islamize the country
God bless You, beloved martyrs!
God of heaven, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ will wipe away your tears. Holy Spirit will comfort you. Your sorrows shall turn to joy. I am a Christian from the south and what is going on in the north is alarmingly disturbing. The whole world is silent on this heinous crime being perpetrated against innocent people, mostly Christians and sometimes Muslims> Must the whole world watch until another Genocide the like that happened in Rwanda and to the Armenians repeat itself? Where is the conscience of the world? Where is humanity? Where is justice? Where is the UN? Where are the US, UK, EU, etc? Why are they keeping mum? And why is the Vice president of Nigeria, a Senior Pastor in the fastest growing church in Nigeria so comfortable winning and dining with these Muslim leaders in government that condones the senseless killings of Christians all in the name of power?. People, that are hell-bent on total annihilation of all Christians? Why is he so quiet as if nothing is happening? Why can’t he be another Mordecai, Ester, etc? Who is going to stand up for these defenseless people ?. I cry to God every day seeing what is happening in Nigeria that is under-reported in the world media? Where is the soul of journalism at this time? Don’t they know that keeping silent in the face of evil is greater evil? Have they forgotten that horrific crimes that are condoned are bound to repeat themselves? But I know there is a God in heaven. The maker of heaven and the earth, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ shall stand up for you. Will fight for us. If the whole world, including pastors and men and women of God, abandons you, Look up to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Jehovah will stand up for you. It is well with your souls.