20 April 2023, The Tablet

Report warns 50,000 Christians killed in Nigeria over last 14 years

The report stated than over 30,000 Christians have been killed since 2015 alone

Report warns 50,000 Christians killed in Nigeria over last 14 years

The Funeral Mass of murdered seminarian Michael Nnadi, on 11th February 2020, Kaduna
Aid to the Church In Need

More than 50,000 people have been killed in Nigeria for being Christian over the last 14 years, according to a new report. And it says that in the first 100 days of 2023, 1,041 have lost their lives in incidences of violent discrimination.

The report, titled Martyred Christians in Nigeria, was published on 10 April by the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), based in Eastern Nigeria.

More than 30,000 have been killed since 2015, when President Muhhamadu Buhari came to power.

The report blames what it calls Buhari's "radical Islamism" for the killings during his presidency. Approximately 34,000 moderate Muslims were also murdered within the same period. The report documents that under Buhari, 18,000 Christian Churches and 2,200 Christian schools have been destroyed.

In Northern Nigeria more than five million people have been displaced and forced into Internally Displaced Peoples' camps and more are in refugee camps at borders.

Aid to the Church in Need documented the killing of at least 35 people in a camp further south in Makurdi Diocese on Good Friday this year. Nigeria's Christians both by extremist groups like Boko Haram and Islamic State and also by well-armed Fulani herdsmen who are increasingly hostile to Christian farmers.

According to the Open Doors Watch List 2023, Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places “to follow Jesus”. According to the report, Nigeria accounts for 89 per cent of Christians martyred worldwide. 

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Catholic church attacked on Pentecost Sunday last year resumed public worship this Easter Sunday on 9 April. St Francis Xavier Catholic Parish in Owo, Ondo Diocese, has been refurbished after at least 50 people were killed when a packed congregation was attacked by gunfire and explosives.

In his homily, Bishop Jude Avodeji Arogundade of Ondo said, “I have never seen a nation so comfortable watching the killings of its citizens on a daily basis in the hundreds and nothing has been done for the past 15 years.”

Bishop Ayodeji criticised the Muhammadu Buhari-led government for failing to even express an apology to citizens amid multiple attacks.

He appealed for justice, saying, “The government must wake up and show strength and courage and make sure those who carried out the evil that took place in this church and the evil going around our country are brought to book and punished accordingly.”

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