The violence dominating areas of Nigeria continues as Fulani herdsmen terrorize village communities. Unfortunately, Christians are frequently targeted in these attacks. On September 18th, a church elder was shot in the stomach and his twin daughters kidnapped from their home in Katsina State. Thankfully, Ibrahim Garba survived the attack and received treatment in hospital. His teenaged daughters, Hassana and Hussaina, were released three days later.
Such incidents do not always end so positively, however, as was demonstrated in several other recent cases throughout Plateau State. On September 28th, the village of Kpachudu was also attacked by Fulani herdsmen. Two young women and a six-year-old boy were killed. A week before that, a 64-year-old Christian leader was lured out of his home with a phone call. Leaving the house to get better reception, he was ambushed and hacked to death with machetes.
On October 14th, Fulani militants ambushed Justine Patrick and two Christian companions as they were returning to Chaha village after working in the fields. The companions managed to escape, but Justine was killed with machetes.
These are only a few of the many cases of violence encountered by Nigeria's Christian population. The governor of Plateau State declared through a spokesman, "We will not allow these ugly incidences to return where helpless and innocent people are murdered in cold blood for no reason." He urged citizens to cooperate with security forces by providing information.
Despite many such pleas, the violence has continued unabated, leading some organizations to refer to the situation in Nigeria as genocide. For additional reports on the violence targeting Christians in Nigeria, go to our country report.
Our hearts unite with the petitions of these dear Nigerian Christians who are choosing to faithfully abide with God in the midst of danger, even if it means dying with His name on their lips. What a comfort to know that those who have been slain are immediately drawn into His presence where they will experience eternal peace (2 Corinthians 5:8). May each of our surviving Nigerian brothers and sisters in Christ also take comfort in knowing that the "Good Shepherd" is walking closely by their side through this difficult time. In addition to pleading for their protection, pray for the healing of victims injured in the attacks, and for God's peace to console all who have tragically lost loved ones. May Nigeria's security forces, with the support of its governing leadership, find ways to quell these acts of genocide so believers can live peacefully and without further threat of violence.