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Over 1,000 Nigerian Christians Killed by Islamist Militias

Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) released a visit report documenting the current situation for civilians in Northern Nigeria, led by Fulani extremists. The findings are disturbing. 

HART, directed by a member of the British House of Lords, Baroness Cox, found an estimated 1,000 believers were killed in 2019 alone.  

Nigerian Christians have endured persecution for many years. As the radical Islamist group Boko Haram gained the spotlight for abducting more than 200 school girls, Nigeria’s religious communities share the reality of ongoing persecution. IMB photo.

“Islamist Fulani militia continue to engage in an aggressive and strategic land grabbing policy in Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Southern Kaduna and parts of Bauchi state,” HART reports. “They attack rural villages, forces villagers off their lands and settle in their place—a strategy that is epitomized by the phrase: ‘your land or your blood.’” Islamist Fulani militia engages in an aggressive and strategic land taking policy in Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Southern Kaduna and parts of Bauchi state. The attacks have, on occasion, led to retaliatory violence, as communities conclude that they can no longer rely on the government for protection or justice.”

Baroness Cox says the pleas for help are unanswered. No longer should the world tolerate these murdering sprees. “For the longer, we tolerate these massacres, the more we embolden the perpetrators. We give them a ‘green light’ to carry on killing.”

Recently, nine Christians were killed in Kenya for not reciting the Islamic statement of faith, the Shahada, during a bus ride. According to a report by International Christian Concern, people were “paraded out of the bus and shot dead at close range by those believed to be al-Shabaab militants.”

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“We are deeply saddened to hear of the murders of Kenyan Christians simply going about their day,” Dede Laugesen, executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians shares in a statement. “Muslims must speak out on these seemingly endless, senseless killings of innocent people holding different beliefs than theirs. Freedom of religion or belief is a universal human right that must be protected and promoted by all for the sake of peace and prosperity. This must end, but it won’t until Muslims en masse demand an end to violence against others in the name of religion, which is generally successful when it does happen.”

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According to Open Doors USA World Watch List, 245 million Christians are victims of rape, persecution and genocide, an increase of 14 percent over 2018. Open Doors estimates 1 in 9 of the world’s Christians experience abuse and that every month 345 Christians are killed, often in public and without regard to gender or age. Additionally, 219 Christians are abducted and imprisoned indefinitely without trial.

 

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