Vision Logo

Mass Kidnappings Of Nigerian Christians

by | Wed, Dec 7 2022

Text size: A- A+

Nearly 70 Christians have been kidnapped in the latest religious violence in Nigeria.

Muslim Fulani herdsmen targeted separate busloads of believers heading to a funeral and a wedding.

43 were kidnapped en route to a funeral in Edo State while five escaped.

On the same day a second group of Fulanis abducted 23 workers from a Christian ministry travelling to a wedding in Edo state.

14 of the hostages were rescued within hours.

Most of the 25 million Fulanis across the region don’t hold extremist views.

But a minority adhere to radical Muslim ideologies and terror strategies similar to Boko Haram and Islamic State.

Christian leaders in Nigeria believe the herdsmen’s attacks on Christian communities in the nation’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ land and impose Islam, as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.

Nigeria led the world in the number of Christians kidnapped over the past year at more than 2,500 — up from 990 the previous year according to persecution watchdog Open Doors.

It also had more Christians killed for their faith at 4,650 — up from 3,530.

Nigeria trailed only China in the number of churches attacked, with 470 cases.

Religious freedom advocates are disappointed over the US State Department’s failure to include Nigeria on its annual list of countries where persecution is most concerning.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom lamented that there is no justification for that decision.

It protested that Nigeria clearly meets the legal standards for designation as a ‘Country of Particular Concern.’

The Commission observed that the State Department’s own reporting includes numerous examples of severe violations in Africa’s most populous nation.