Yet another group of Nigerian Christians has been attacked by Islamist Fulani militants amid escalating calls for the government to do more to combat the violent group.
Persecution watchdog, International Christian Concern (ICC), reported that the attack took place on October 3, and resulted in the slaying of some 19 Chrisitians in the country’s Plateau State.
According to ICC:
“The community of Ariri was asleep and unaware that they were about to be attacked. Then gunshots rang through the air and woke the people.”
Just 24 hours later, in Nkiendoro village in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, another four people were murdered, and 35 houses burned to the ground. Both the local Catholic church and Evangelical Church, “Winning All,” were burnt down in the attack, according to Nigerian news outlet, Punch.
These are the latest incidents of brutality at the hands of the Islamist Fulani herdsmen that have plagued the region in recent months. Last month, 27 Christians drowned as they fled a vicious assault on their village which is situated along the Benue river.
A local pastor explained how, upon hearing gunfire, many of the villagers fled into the bush, or drowned as they attempted to swim across the river.
“Nobody knows the whereabouts of these people missing. Since their dead bodies are not found, it is too early to declare them dead. We will give them the benefit of doubt; maybe some of them may return home to their families,” the pastor noted, as reported by World Watch Monitor.
Jidauna Igiya, the head of Gon village, explained how many tried calling the security services once the attacks began, but that these attempts were fruitless.
“We tried to call security forces but none came to our rescue,” he said. “We managed to put our families, children, women and old people through the bush and that is how we were able to be saved. Right now we are all scattered. Some of us are still in the bush, taking shelter around Gon north, while some of our families are in Numan and others in other villages.”
The attacks have become increasingly common in this region, with the Fulani militants attempting to eradicate Christianity from the land. The state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Bishop Stephen Mamza, said that believers were continuing to be “killed by these so-called herdsmen on a daily basis, ” noting that the security forces continue to leave the Christian community vulnerable to attack.
The “incessant attacks on Christians has led to hunger and starvation, adding that if these Christians are not aided many will die of starvation,” he added.
Please continue to pray for those who continue to be persecuted for their faith in Christ.