Human rights advocates sound alarm on ‘Christian genocide’ unfolding in Africa

People attend a funeral for those killed by suspected Boko Haram militants in Garin Kwashebe Nigeria in Borno State last Sunday (PHOTO: AP Photo/Jossy Ola).

By George Thomas — Originally published in CBN News

Muslim terror groups are launching attacks across several African nations. 

Foremost is Nigeria, where tens of thousands of Christians have died as part of what human rights activists call a Christian genocide across the continent. 

Nigeria’s Army recently released a poster of its top 100 terror targets. 

Among them: Africa’s most wanted man, Abubakar Shekau, head of the Islamic terror group, Boko Haram. 

“This person has been unsettling, not just really northern Nigeria, but an entire region,” Dr David Curry, president of Open Doors USA, told CBN News.

In a video obtained by a Nigerian newspaper, the Boko Haram leader, surrounded by bodyguards, boasts he will never get caught because he’s doing Allah’s work. 

Shekau adds the war in Nigeria will continue even after him.

“I think that if he’s not put under control by the Nigeria government, this could certainly tip over into a caliphate-type idea like we saw with ISIS in Syria and Iraq,” Curry warned.

Shekau’s brutal insurgency has killed thousands and left millions displaced from their homes. 

A recent example of Boko Haram terror is an incident where Islamic militants are suspected in the killing of 110 rice farmers and fishermen in Nigeria last weekend.

Members of the terror group allegedly staged the attack in Garin Kwashebe as a form of revenge after locals refused to comply with an extortion effort. 

“If you look at what’s happening there, it’s just massive, massive attacks against Christians,” said Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern. “So far, 50 to 70 000 have been murdered.”

Shekau’s mission: turn Africa’s most populous country Islamic, and force Christians, who make up half the population, to either leave, convert to Islam or die.

Johnnie Moore, a Christian, and Abraham Cooper, an Orthodox Jew, are co-authors of the new book, The Next Jihad: Stop the Christian Genocide in Africa.

“The terrorists in Nigeria and in the surrounding countries around Nigeria with these other insurgencies taking place, are absolutely trying to commit genocide against the Christian communities, they want to wipe them all out,” Rev Johnnie Moore, told CBN News.
 
Moore and Cooper travelled together to Nigeria earlier this year meeting dozens of Christian victims of Muslim persecution. 

“Many of them feel helpless at this point, you never know where it’s going to hit next,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean and director of Global Social Action Agenda for the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, told CBN News. “Their faith, however, remains unshakable, and speaking as a Jewish Rabbi, an Orthodox one, I was very inspired by their faith.” 

To make matters worse, in Nigeria’s so-called “Middle Belt” region, where the Muslim North meets the Christian South, another terror group made up of Muslim Fulani militants is also terrorising Christians.

More than 1 400 Christians were hacked to death in just the first seven months of 2020 by Fulani militants.

“They come in the middle of the night, coming into Christian villages, burning down the homes, killing the people, just really, really horrible,” Cooper said.

The Wall Street Journal reported on how jihadist groups set up random highway checkpoints, searching for Christians to kidnap for ransom or simply murder on the roadside.

One of those abducted is Polycarp Zongo, pastor of a church east of Abuja, the country’s capital city. 

The terrorist group released a video of pastor Zongo appealing for his release.

“They also captured two Christian women who are here with me,” pastor Zongo said in the video. “I’m appealing that you all do all that is possible to secure our release from captivity.”

The terror attacks on Christians are spiking under Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch. 

He’s a Muslim from the Fulani tribe. Nigerian Christian leaders are accusing President Buhari of doing little to stop the bloodletting.  

CBN News reached out to Nigeria’s ambassador in Washington, DC, for comment on the ongoing persecution of Christians in his country, but got no response.
 
“It’s one thing when North Korea or Iran does this, but this is a democracy, there has to be rule of law in the country,” said Moore.

Nigeria’s police and army are also mostly made up of Fulani Muslims. 

“The attackers are never captured, they are not prosecuted, the security services respond very slowly, a full day can go on with attacks happening and no security shows up and frequently the government officials will provide cover,” said Dede Laugesen with Save the Persecuted Christian.
 
Meanwhile, the Covid pandemic is exacerbating the plight of Nigeria’s Christians, especially in provinces ruled by Islamic Sharia Law.

“When the government sends food into these areas, the extremists, and the leaders under Sharia law, are intentionally keeping food and aid from people they consider infidels, but these are Nigerian citizens,” said Dr Curry.
 
And it’s not just in Nigeria. 

After losing ground in Syria and Iraq, the top general of US Special Operations Command in Africa is warning that Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other Islamic terror groups are gaining ground on the continent.

Maj Gen Dagvin Anderson says Muslim terrorists have set their sights on Nigeria’s southern and northwest regions and the US is now sharing specific intelligence with the country. 
 
“This intelligence sharing is absolutely vital and we stay fully engaged with the government of Nigeria to provide them with understanding with what these terrorists are doing,” Maj Gen. Anderson told reporters.

On November 10, ISIS-linked fighters attacked a remote town in northern Mozambique, beheading 50 people in a soccer stadium and kidnapping scores of women.

This summer saw a slew of jihadist attacks in Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Mali, Tanzania, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
Moore says for radical jihadists, Nigeria remains the big prize. 
 
“This is the most important country in Africa, the 10th largest oil reserves in the world, the largest economy on the continent,” said Moore.

Dr David Curry, whose group Open Doors has listed Nigeria as the 12th worst place in the world for Christians, is urging the next US administration to make Nigeria a top priority.

“This has massive international implications for the entire continent,” warned Curry. “We need to focus on what’s happening in Nigeria otherwise we could have a massive upheaval in that very important place in the world.”
 
Moore and Cooper hope their book will help our political leaders and people around the world understand the crisis facing Nigeria today.
 
“And I can tell you that every minute the world is asleep is another minute that someone dies,” warned Rev Moore. “So whether it’s the Jewish Rabbi who has been fighting his whole life against injustice or the Christian pastor who sees them [Nigerian Christians] as family, this is an injustice for the whole world and now it’s time to stop it.”

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