Nigerian Christians remain hopeful in face of religious persecution

Originally published in CBN

Fulani terrorists have reportedly killed hundreds of Christians, displaced thousands of residents, and destroyed nearly 30 church buildings in central Nigeria since mid-May.

Rev. Timothy Daluk of Mangu County told Morning Star News Fulani terrorists have killed 300 Christians, displaced 30,000 residents, destroyed 28 church buildings, 2,000 houses, and looted 150 trailer loads of grains in the area.

As CBN News has reported, President Biden removed Nigeria from the U.S. list of countries of particular concern after the Trump administration gave the nation that designation in late 2020.

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But the country moved up to the sixth place on Open Door’s 2023 World Watch List, which ranks the top 50 countries with the worst persecution of Christians. 

“The persecution facing Christians in Nigeria is extreme and often brutally violent, as Islamic militants and armed bandits attack with increasing impunity,” reads the report.

It continued, “Although all civilians are subject to threats and violence, Christians are often specifically targeted because of their faith. Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), for example, want to eliminate the presence of Christianity in Nigeria. More Christians are killed for their faith in Nigeria than in the rest of the world combined.”

Hundreds of Christians have been terrorized in Mangu County, including two pastors who were killed last week. 

“Christians killed in Fungzai-Mangu village by Fulani terrorists are mostly women and children; they were buried in a mass grave on Tuesday, 16 May,” Rev. Jacob Dashop told Morning Star News. 

Pastor Amos Mohzo says he is trying to encourage those who have been displaced following the attacks.

“This is our encouragement to you – don’t be afraid,” he told them. “You that are alive, this is not the time to fear; follow the instructions of both community and spiritual leaders and be courageous. The Lord will be with you.” 

“The Lord is your strength, and He alone can meet your needs and expectations during this period,” he continued. 

Mohzo advised local pastors to encourage believers as well. 

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“Let us not put our hope on how much weapons we can get to defend ourselves, because our weapon is in Christ,” he said. “If God will make Samson, just with a jaw of a donkey, to destroy a whole community, that God is still alive. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Meanwhile, other leaders are imploring the Nigerian government to step in. 

“This is an unfortunate and mindless situation where innocent Christians are being killed,” Rev. Stephen Baba Panya said in a press statement. “We, the church leaders and spiritual fathers, are calling on the government and all security agencies to immediately stop this ongoing massacre and its spread to more communities.”

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