For information about Orthodox Christianity in Nigeria, see here.
For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria from ChristianPersecution.com, see here.
“Is the Persecution in Nigeria a Christian Genocide? This Bishop Says ‘Yes,’” by Peter Pinedo, CNA, January 30, 2024:
Bishop Wilfred Anagbe of Nigeria shared details of the worsening persecution of Christians in Nigeria, accusing members of the government there of being complicit in what he called a Christian “genocide” and an erasure of the Christian presence from the country.
Bishop Anagbe, who leads the Makurdi Diocese, warned that if greater action is not taken he believes the Christian population, which currently numbers over 86 million, roughly half of the total Nigerian populace, could disappear entirely in the next few decades.
Though the Nigerian Christian population is massive and is known as having some of the most devoted faithful in the world, Bishop Anagbe said the Christian presence in Nigeria is “gradually and systematically” being reduced by radical Islamists through “killings, kidnappings, torture, and burning of churches.”
In the last decade alone, since taking up the leadership of his diocese in Nigeria’s central Benue state, the bishop said that he has lost 160 churches because of attacks that he said are being perpetrated by radical members of a Muslim tribe known as the Fulani.
Bishop Anagbe is in Washington, D.C., this week to bring attention to the crisis in Nigeria and to participate in the International Religious Freedom Summit, taking place Jan. 30–31.
He gave his remarks Tuesday morning at a breakfast in the House Rayburn Office Building. The event was organized by the papal relief group Aid to the Church in Need….
Some Western politicians and media outlets posit that the crisis in Nigeria has been brought on by climate change, which they say is forcing nomadic Fulani herdsmen to fight with Christian farmers over scarce land. Bishop Anagbe, however, condemned this narrative as “lies and propaganda.” He said that the Fulani terrorists are motivated by hatred of Christianity first and foremost.
Bishop Anagbe told CNA that the attacks, which often kill hundreds at a time, are “targeted at Christian Indigenous groups in Nigeria” as “a way of eliminating this group of people who have the same faith from different places.” This, he said, is the very definition of a religious genocide.
“I keep asking how many mosques have been attacked versus Catholic churches? How many pastors and reverend fathers have been kidnapped versus imams?”
“They’re doing this systematically,” he said. “When you eliminate people who are not confrontational to you, who didn’t provoke you, and there’s no war, it’s an agenda they have to do.”
The agenda, Bishop Anagbe said, is the “extermination” of Christianity from Nigeria.