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Fulani militants - Photo: Voice of America
Fulani militants
Photo: Voice of America

An overnight attack that took place in the Nigerian village of Ta'agbe on November 26th left ten Christians dead, including three children. According to witnesses, the attackers were dressed in black, carried sophisticated weapons, and shouted Islamic slogans while slaughtering the residents of the village and burning homes. It is estimated that over 100 houses were destroyed, displacing 690 people.

Six of those killed were from a single family. "I lost my grandchildren for the sake of Christ," Sibi Gara said tearfully while lying in a hospital bed due to physical injuries caused by the attack. The governor of Plateau State is reportedly outraged over the unnecessary loss of life, pain and destruction that was inflicted on innocent villagers, and is calling for the arrest of those responsible. A Christian leader in the area believes that the attack is part of a campaign to wipe Christians from the region. In late October, a letter was sent by Fulani militants to Christian communities in the state warning of impending attacks if they did not evacuate their villages.

In the midst of the ongoing violence, organizations from around the world that are supporting persecuted Christians have expressed their dismay over a decision made by the United States Department of State to remove Nigeria from their list as a "Country of Particular Concern." Some commentators believe that the change may be related to the American government's attempts to strengthen its relations with Nigeria. The chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) responded to the recent news by stating: "We urge the State Department to reconsider its designations based on facts presented in its own reporting." To learn more about the difficulties experienced by Christians in Nigeria, and/or to view informative video documentaries, go to our country report.

Please remember in prayer the grieving families of those who have lost their lives in this latest attack, as well as the hundreds of villagers who have been terrorized and displaced from their homes and community. May God's reassuring presence provide needed comfort, healing and strength to all who are suffering as a result of loss – whether it be the loss of loved ones, health, homes and/or personal belongings. Pray that Nigeria's governing authorities will take effective action against militant groups to prevent them from terrorizing more innocent lives.