Ghana 

1,000 Nigerian Christians Murdered This Year Alone— Reports

•Group laments plights of Nigerian Christians

•Buhari Government not doing enough

A new report on the persecution of
Christians in Nigeria has found that
about 1,000 adherents of the Christian
faith have been killed by Islamic
militants in 2019 alone.


The Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust
(HART), headed by a member of the
British House of Lords, Baroness Cox,
discovered that believers in the North
and Central region of Nigeria were the
most severely affected.
The group said the constant attack of
“harmless” persons, especially
worshipers and clerics portends danger
for Christianity as it has ignited fears in
clerics deployed to the northeast to
work.
In its end of the year report, the group
recounted the killing in August of
Reverend Father David Tanko and many
others in the northern part of the
country, adding that over 1000
Christians have been killed in 2019
Recently, they explained that suspected
terrorists had threatened to attack other
clerics, including a missionary sister
identified as Sister Chioma Ibe after the
killing of Fr Pius Ani.
Fr Pius Ani and Sr Chioma Ibe, it was
learnt, were two Catholic missionaries
whose work in the northern part of
Nigeria had drawn a lot of accolades
and admiration but had also exposed
them to the Boko Haram terrorist group.
The killed priest was a pastor of St
Theresa Catholic Church in Maiduguri,
Borno State, working with Sr Chioma
Ibe, who is the principal of the parish
school.
Both the priest and the nun were said to
be working with youths by converting
the youths and adults of that town to the
Catholic faith. The parish school is open
to both Christians and Muslims.
It was learnt that with their teachings
many were converted to Catholicism and
embracing the Christian doctrine,
with no fewer than 50 students
administered with the sacrament of
baptism and welcomed into the
Catholic Church and receiving the first
communion
According to reports, the popularity of
these missionaries has spread widely to
the predominantly Muslim state,
exposing them to the threat of the
Islamic fundamentalist group who have
made several unsuccessful attempts to
kill both missionaries.
This led to the priest and nun being
transferred out from the northern part to
another church in the south where they
both continued their good work of
ministering in the church and also
managing the parish school.
According to the reports: “Islamist
Fulani militia continue to engage in an
aggressive and strategic land grabbing
policy in Plateau, Benue, Taraba,
Southern Kaduna and parts of Bauchi
state.
“They attack rural villages, force
villagers off their lands and settle in
their place — a strategy that is
epitomized by the phrase: «your land or
your blood.”
According to HART, the exact number of
Christians killed by Islamic militants
Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen was
unknown, though the data suggests the
figure to be sitting at around 1,000 for
the year. The organization believes that
some 6,000 have been killed since 2015,
and with an additional 12,000 displaced.
“In every village, the message from local
people is the same: ‘Please, please help
us! The Fulani are coming. We are not
safe in our own homes,” HART said in
the report.

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