Kidnappings and Murders of Christians Escalate in Nigeria’s Extremist Crisis
09/01/2023 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – More than 1,000 Christians in Nigeria were killed during attacks by Islamic extremists in 2023, according to International Christian Concern. Boko Haram, Fulani militants, and other extremist groups kidnapped and killed Christians for not paying ransom.
Community leaders blamed Fulani militants for kidnapping and destroying farm produce before harvest, and Christian religious leaders addressed the atrocities in Christian communities as persecution, but the Nigerian government addressed the terrorists as unknown gunmen or bandits. In Plateau State, more than 400 Christians were killed by Funali militants in Mangu, Barkin Ladi, and Riyom local government this year.
In northern Nigeria, Fulani militants kidnapped seven Christians. A witness told ICC that the captors took the hostages at gunpoint from a restaurant in Bauchi State on the evening of Aug. 21. These terrorists are demanding a ransom of $2,600 USD (N2 million), which is an immense sum for a struggling rural family from Bassa in Plateau State. Their livelihoods have already been devastated by terrorists in their hometowns. Even a short walk for food is a perilous journey due to the constant threat of attacks. Many Christian villages in the region have fallen under the control of these Fulani terrorists, and sadly, the residents cannot find safety even in their supposed places of refuge.
Five of those kidnapped were released on Aug. 23 and rushed to the hospital, while the militants killed two for not paying ransom. The militants told the hostages they were raising funds through kidnapping to attack more Christian communities.
The National Leader of the Irigwe Chiefdom in Plateau says Christians are persecuted, but the Nigerian government remains silent, allowing persecuted Christians to be under the mercy of gunmen. He calls on Christians in the diaspora to pray for persecuted Christians in the country. Please continue to pray for Christians in Nigeria.