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When Will the West Address the Genocide Against Christians in Nigeria?


According to a recent study, it has been estimated that 3,462 Christians have been killed during the first 200 days of 2021 in Nigeria. According to the report by ACI Africa, in the most populated country in Africa, 17 Christians are being murdered every day. 

The study was completed by the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety)  in Onitsha, Nigeria. The recorded numbers from January 1 through July 18 include at least 10 pastors and priests.

According to Intersociety, “The number of defenseless Christians hacked to death by Nigeria’s Islamic jihadists and their collaborators in the security forces in the past 200 days has risen to no fewer than 3,462, and this is just 68 deaths less than the total deaths of Nigerian Christians in 2020, which the Open Doors’ World Watch List of Persecuted Christians put at 3,530.”

The number hasn’t been this high since 2014. Back then, Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram were responsible for the death of over 5,000 Christians in Nigeria. The report indicates that one of the largest Islamist groups in Africa, Boko Haram, was responsible for over 4,000 Christian deaths in 2014. In addition, there were at least 1,225 Christian farmers murdered by Fulani herdsmen in clashes over valuable grazing land.

According to this year’s report issued on July 18, “In our last report issued on May 11, 2021, covering January to April of this year, we found no fewer than 1,470 Christians were hacked to death, and in the past 80 days, May 1 – July 18, not less than 1,992 Christian lives have been lost.”

The research and investigative rights group, Intersociety, has been monitoring religious persecution throughout Nigeria since 2010. Information is gathered by contacting eyewitnesses and victims, interviews, media tracking, and other methods that can not be mentioned. 

Christians in Nigeria
Mourners attend a mass funeral Sunday in Zabarmari, Nigeria, for 43 farm workers whose throats were slit the day before, authorities said, by Boko Haram fighters in rice fields.
AUDU MARTE / Contributor / Getty Images

From January 1, 2021, through April 30, Intersociety has found there have been at least 2,200 Christians abducted. There have been at least 780 Christians kidnapped between May 1 and July 18. Out of every 30 Christians who have been abducted, at least three have died in captivity. In addition, the researchers have 150 deaths, referred to as “dark figures.” These are deaths that have happened but were not reported. The investigators say that there have been around 300 churches targeted since January of this year. 

The report notes that Taraba State in the northeast of Nigeria has been hit the worst. There have been at least 70 churches threatened or attacked in this region. According to the authors of the report, it is “deeply saddening” that the individuals and groups responsible for the attacks have continued to evade justice. This creates a sense of impunity, leading to even more aggression and murders. 

Is there any protection?

According to the report, “The country’s security forces have so fumbled and compromised that they hardly intervene when the vulnerable Christians are in danger of threats or attacks, but only emerge after such attacks to arrest and frame up the same population threatened or attacked.”

In addition, the report said, “In the north, the jihadists operate freely under the cover and protection of the security forces; abducting, killing, looting, destroying or burning and forcefully converting their captives and unprotected Christians and their homes and sacred places of worship and learning. But the same security forces hatefully and brutally respond with utter ferocity against southern and northern Christians accused of infractions or offending the law.”

Read: How Concerned is President Biden with Israel and the Middle East?

According to this year’s report, during the first 200 days of 2021, Fulani herdsmen have done the most killing, murdering an estimated 1,909 Christians. Boko Haram wasn’t far behind, killing 1,063 Christians. The Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian army, and other armed forces branches accounted for the murder of 490 Christians. 

When does this get the United States’ attention?

I need to be careful here. What I am about to write doesn’t represent the thoughts and opinions of ThinkCivics or any of their writers other than myself. I just wonder, if the word “Christian” wasn’t used to describe the people being murdered in Nigeria, would more people be interested?

What if a terrorist group in Nigeria randomly picked 17 people every morning and killed them, regardless of their religion or faith? Let’s take this even a step further. I have been studying to write this story for about two days now. I haven’t found any kind of numbers separating the ethnicity of the victims. With this happening in Nigeria, I doubt too many of these people being murdered are Caucasian.

When does Black Lives Matter get involved? It’s not only jihadists doing the murdering. The study shows the army, police, and other armed forces branches are involved. To me, that sounds exactly like what the Black Lives Matter organization is against. How many people have to be killed before we decide what is happening is wrong and something needs to be done?

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