Six Christians Killed, Eight Wounded in Kaduna State, Nigeria

Six Christians Killed, Eight Wounded in Kaduna State, Nigeria

Fulani herdsmen on Sunday (May 5) raided a village in southern Kaduna state, Nigeria, killing six Christians, area residents said.

A large number of herdsmen raided predominantly Christian Ambe village, Sanga County, at about midnight as residents were sleeping, said Zachariah Sanga.

“They were armed with deadly weapons like guns, machetes, and cudgels,” Sanga told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News. “The herdsmen on arrival shot into houses and at anyone they sighted.”

Along with the six Christians slain, eight others were also wounded, he said.

Daniel Amos, a member of Nigeria’s National Assembly, confirmed in a press statement on Monday (May 6) that six innocent people were killed, and that eight others were wounded and receiving medical treatment.

“I strongly condemn this heinous act, which is another attempt to destabilize the peace and security in my constituency and our dear state,” Amos said. “It is unacceptable that our people cannot live in peace without fear of being attacked by these criminal elements.”

The legislator called on Nigeria’s security agencies to make end the violence that threatens the existence of Christians in Kaduna state.

“I also call on the security agencies to act swiftly to apprehend the perpetrators of this evil act and bring them to justice,” he said. “The safety of our people must remain a top priority. We cannot allow the criminals to continue to operate with impunity.”

Mansir Hassan, spokesman for the Kaduna State Police Command, said in a press statement that villagers had apprehended one of the assailants, and that police were investigating.

Nigeria remained the deadliest place in the world to follow Christ, with 4,118 people killed for their faith from Oct. 1, 2022 to Sept. 30, 2023, according to Open Doors’ 2024 World Watch List (WWL) report. More kidnappings of Christians than in any other country also took place in Nigeria, with 3,300.

Nigeria was also the third highest country in number of attacks on churches and other Christian buildings such as hospitals, schools, and cemeteries, with 750, according to the report.

In the 2024 WWL of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria was ranked No. 6, as it was in the previous year.

Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) noted in a 2020 report.

“They adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity,” the APPG report states.

Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.

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