According to a news network focusing on Christian persecution, last week Nigerian Christians were massacred for the second time within a few days. Armed herdsmen Muslim Fulani attacked several villages in Benue State of Nigeria and killed at least 39 people.
Morning Star News reported on a few recent attacks targeting Christian communities in the state, including those in Tse-Umenge, Mbkpase and Tse-Ali on the night of April 24th. In total, a staggering160 houses were burned down.
Alice Terwase, a resident of Mbakpase, told reporters that the attackers were fully armed and carried AK-47 firearms. “More than 60 houses in our village were destroyed,” Terwase said. “Three members were killed.”In the village Tse-Ali, more than 70 houses were set on fire and 21 Christians were killed. The victims came from reformed Christian churches or Roman Catholic churches.
John Umenge of Tse-Umenge Village revealed that more than 50 houses were burned and 15 Christians were killed. Umenge recalls, “This terrorist attack started on April 24th Tuesday night around 11pm and lasted till Wednesday early morning.”
Another attack happened earlier on April 24th morning. Armed herdsmen of Muslim Fulani attacked a Catholic church in Mbalom. According to local sources, at around 5:30am, believers started to enter the church for morning mass and when the mass was about to begin, rapid gunshots were heard. The gunmen took 19 lives, including Father Joseph and Father Felix who were leading the mss. Several others were also wounded.President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria, gave condemnation regarding the incident and called it “shameful” and “evil.”
“To break into places of worship and kill priests and believers are not only evil, degrading and shameful. At the same time, it is obviously an act planned to trigger religious conflicts and could lead to countless blood shredding events.”
“On Wednesday morning 12:20am, seven Christian villagers who were seeking refuge at an African church in Mbamondo were also killed. These extremists not only murder people but also burn houses.” Richard Nyajo, Chairman of the regional council of the local government in Logo, told Morning Star News.Morning Star News pointed out that the total number of people killed in the series of attacks could not be confirmed at the moment.
Despite the Nigerian government’s promise to take act, the situation in Bukhari is increasingly unstable. Christians are filled with indignation towards the repeated and prolonged blood shredding attacks by the armed herdsmen of Muslim Fulani.
In recent years, the deadliest attack by armed herdsmen of Fulani happened on February 21st, 2016 in Benue State. More than 500 villagers were slaughtered and 7,000 villagers from more than 10 villages were dispersed.
The Nigerian Christian Association condemned as “immoral status” and called on all the churches in the country and around the world to hold a peaceful protest on April 29th to say “NO” to the bloodshed in Nigeria.”Now is the time for the government to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to protect the citizens. There should no longer be any excuse for this kind of evil behavior.” Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, Chairman of the Nigerian Christian Association, stated, “In the same way, we must call for the immediate release of imprisoned Leah Shalib and the other four girls through peaceful protests. All prisoners must be released immediately.” What he mentioned was an abduction case of another terrorist organization in Nigeria called, Boko Haram.
“We have reached the limit and we are almost out of control,” he added.
In 2015, the Global Terrorism Index described Fulani’s armed herdsman as the fourth largest deadly terrorist group. The 2016 index report mentioned that the death toll of the attack of Fulani’s armed herdsmen in Nigeria was higher than that of another extreme organization Boko Haram. Since 2001, Fulani’s armed herdsmen have killed an estimated 60,000 people. In the past year alone, they razed more than 50 villages. In the past four months, 516 Christians were killed.
Boko Haram is another Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organization in Nigeria, which vowed to promote Sharia law throughout Nigeria. In recent years, they continued to carry out bomb attacks, kidnap young girls and attack western educational organizations, such as schools and churches, in Nigeria. They take radical measures to object any non-Islamic education or ideas.
More than 51% of the Nigerian population is Christians, while Muslims account for about 45% in the northern and central regions of the country.