Suspected Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists on February 25 killed three Christians in an attack on northeast Nigeria’s Chibok area, residents say.
Besides the Christians killed in the attack on Kautikari village, Borno state, at about 5 p.m., a Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) worship building was destroyed, said area resident John Usman.
Another area resident, Hyeladi Buba, corroborated the report in an area where ISWAP, which broke off from the Islamic extremist rebel group Boko Haram in 2016, is still referred to as Boko Haram.
“Only God will deliver us in Chibok from these Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists,” he said.
Yohanna Chiwar, another resident, identified one of the slain Christians as Bulama Wadir.
An Abubakar Shekau-led faction of Boko Haram in 2016 formally aligned with the Islamic State and changed its name to Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), though many Nigerians still refer to the Shekau-led faction of ISWAP by its original name, Boko Haram. The Islamic State recognizes the ISWAP faction that broke away from Shekau as its cell in the region, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
The predominantly Christian Kautikari community was also attacked in mid-January, when 24 Christian women and children were captured and taken into captivity, with 20 of them still held captive, sources said. The four others managed to escape in late January.
A worship auditorium of the local EYN congregation was also damaged in the January attack, residents said. The community lies on the fringes of Sambisa forest, a base of ISWAP terrorists.
Chibok leaders reported that their communities have been attacked more than 72 times since the 2014 kidnapping of 276 public high school girls in predominantly Christian Chibok. After eight years in which 57 girls escaped on their own and others were released, 110 of the girls remain in captivity, according a report released in late January by the Chibok Area Development Association.
The report shows that at least 407 Christians have been killed in 72 attacks since 2012 in the area by Boko Haram or ISWAP rebels who seek to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria….
Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith last year (Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021) at 4,650, up from 3,530 the previous year, according to Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List report. The number of kidnapped Christians was also highest in Nigeria, at more than 2,500, up from 990 the previous year, according to the WWL report.
Nigeria trailed only China in the number of churches attacked, with 470 cases, according to the report.
In the 2022 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to seventh place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 9 the previous year.
For information about Orthodox Christianity in Nigeria, see here.
For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria from ChristianPersecution.com, see here.
“Islamic terrorists kill three Christians in Chibok, Nigeria,” The Paradise, March 1, 2022: