As the persecution of Christians across the globe reaches some of its peak levels, one country that is often forgotten in media coverage is Nigeria. At the end of December 2019, ISIS terrorists posted a video of 10 Christians being beheaded for their faith. The mainstream media has been shockingly silent about this story – continuing a trend of ignoring many of the atrocities that have taken place in Nigeria the past year – all against those who profess faith in Jesus Christ.
Genocide – Beheading Christians Just The Latest Attack
According to reports:
“Islamic State released a video purporting to show its militants beheading 10 Christian men in Nigeria, saying it was part of a campaign to avenge the deaths of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and its spokesman.
The militant group posted the footage on its online Telegram news channel on Thursday, the day after Christmas, with Arabic captions but no audio.
The video showed men in beige uniforms and black masks lining up behind blindfolded captives then beheading 10 of them and shooting an 11th man.
An earlier video seen by Reuters said the captives had been taken from Maiduguri and Damaturu in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno, where militants have been fighting for years to set up a separate Islamist state.
In that video, the captives pleaded for the Christian Association of Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari to save them.” (source).
As horrific as these murders were, they are just one example of the numerous attacks on Christians in Nigeria in the past decade. Terrorism experts estimate that in 2018 alone, over 2,400 Nigerian Christians were murdered for their faith. Many at the hands of Boko Haram, the Muslim extremist group in Nigeria and the Fulani herdsmen, rural Muslims who are loosely aligned with Boko Haram.
A Wall Street Journal reporter traveled to the heart of Fulani territory to gather first-hand accounts of the rampant and unconsciable persecution of Christians taking place:
“I travel to Godogodo, in the center of the country, where I meet a beautiful woman named Jumai Victor, 28. On July 15, she says, Fulani extremists stormed into her village on long-saddle motorcycles, three to a bike, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” They torched houses and killed her four children before her eyes.
When her turn came and they noticed she was pregnant, a discussion ensued. Some didn’t want to see her belly slit, so they compromised by cutting up and amputating her left arm with a machete. She speaks quickly and emotionlessly, staring into space as if she lost her face along with her arm. The village chief, translating for her, chokes up. Tears stream down his cheeks when she finishes her account.
I venture north to Adnan, where Lyndia David, 34, tells her story of survival. On the morning of March 15, rumors reached her village that Fulani raiders were nearby. She was dressing for church as her husband prepared to join a group of men who’d stand watch. He urged her to take refuge at her sister’s home in another village.
Her first night there, sentinels woke her with a whistle. She left the house to find flames spreading around her. Fulani surrounded her. Then she heard a voice: “Come this way, you can get through!” She did, and her putative savior leapt out of the underbrush, cut three fingers off her right hand, carved the nape of her neck with his machete, shot her, doused her body with gasoline, and lit it. She somehow survived. A few weeks later she returned to her village and learned that the raiders had leveled it the same night. Her husband was among the 72 they murdered.” (source).
- On Christmas Eve 2019, Boko Haram militants raided the town of Kwarangulum. Driving in on motorcycles and armed with assault rifles, the Muslim terrorists murdered 7 Christians, burnt homes and stores to the ground and abducted a teenage girl. Kwarangulum is just 10 miles from Chibok, where in 2014 Boko Haram militants stormed an all-girls school and kidnapped 276 girls (112 of them still remain in captivity today). (source).
- In June of 2019, Boko Haram gunned down 65 Christians who were attending a funeral. The Muslim group’s goal is to establish an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria. (source).
- In September 2019 Boko Haram posted a video showing Lawrence Duna Dacighir and Godfrey Ali Shikagham, who were members of the Church Of Christ in Nations. Both young men were delivering aid to impoverished people in rural areas of Nigeria. In the video they were on their knees while three heavily armed terrorists stand behind them. They were then shot and executed. (source).
- In February 2018, 100 girls were kidnapped from school in Dapchi, Nigeria by Boko Haram terrorists. Five of these girls died in captivity and many were eventually released. However some, still remain unaccounted for. Many of these girls are forced to become “brides” to Boko Haram members or sold as sex slaves. (source).
Remember Nigeria – Pray For Peace
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:10
Somehow, despite the dozens upon dozens of murders, kidnappings and assaults, the media has largely ignored the crisis in Nigeria. But we must not. Continue in prayer for the nation of Nigeria. Pray for the many tens of thousands of Christians who are living under daily fear of violence, displacement and death. Pray that God will protect them and strengthen them for the tribulation they face. Also pray for the Holy Spirit to bring peace to the region and for the light of the Gospel – the good news that God came on the cross and died so that all people, including Fulani herdsmen, ISIS and Boko Haram – can be forgiven for all of their sins when they put their faith and trust in Jesus. And pray that we do not forget the suffering of brothers and sisters in the faith – even if the major media stands idly.