Nigeria: ‘Christians fear for their lives’

September 19, 2020

Persecution of Christians in Nigeria continues to increase exponentially: “For the past seven weeks, we have been burying our parishioners with no end in sight,” says Father Sam Ebute. Despite the awesome scope of this violence, however, this persecution rarely makes the news outside that country. We have tracked this persecution of Christians in Nigeria here at extensively, but we are one of the few who are doing so.

Nigeria is about 50% Christian. Of those Christians, around 75% are Protestant, 24% Roman Catholic. Of the remaining 1%, there is a small Orthodox Christian community. These Christians are being subjected to a ruthless persecution that has gone on with sporadic attacks for years, and has been escalating recently. Targeting the Christians are both the Islamic militant group Boko Haram and Muslim Fulani herdsmen.

The Order requests once again that the UN and the US State Department address the persecution of Nigerian Christians, and move the Nigerian government to take decisive action against Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen for the protection of its Christian citizens.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria at, see here.

“Nigeria: ‘Christians fear for their lives,'” by Fionn Shiner, ICN, September 17, 2020:

A surge in violence against Nigerian Christians has left the faithful paralysed by fear and unable to go about their normal lives, according to a leading priest.

Speaking to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Father Sam Ebute of Kangoro said Christians were constantly worried about the next spate of attacks.

He said: “For the past seven weeks, we have been burying our parishioners with no end in sight. These last attacks have left us all in fear and especially the fear of the unknown because we do not know when the next round of attacks will happen and what will trigger it. We cannot worship in peace. We have no confidence in the safety of our homes.”

He added: “Our movements are limited, our faithful cannot freely go about their activities. It is farming season now, but they dare not go to their farms for fear of being attacked there.

“They have left their crops to perish. It is like we have been left to perish because of our faith.”

In seven months 178 people were killed in Kaduna State, reports suggest mainly by militant Fulani herders, and Father Ebute was critical of the government’s refusal to provide protection.

He said: “What makes all of this even more difficult is the fact that the government doesn’t take decisive measures to curb the menace. This is the most devastating and frustrating thing to fathom.”

Father Ebute, Director of Vocations for the Society of African Missions, buried 21 of his parishioners after bandits attacked Kukum Daji village.

He said: “The community had a gathering of youths when they suddenly heard gunshots and noises of men screaming… In less than two hours, the bandits left 17 youths dead, mostly girls, while four died either on their way to the hospital or at the hospital, making it a total number of 21. For four years, since I became a priest in 2016, I have been burying my parishioners.”…