Nigeria: Terrorists Kill More than 20 Christians in Taraba State

August 19, 2022

For information about Orthodox Christianity in Nigeria, see here.

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

“Terrorists Kill More than 20 Christians in Taraba State, Nigeria,” Morning Star News, August 17, 2022:

ABUJANigeria (Morning Star News) – After more than 20 Christians lost their lives to terrorist attacks in two areas of Taraba state, Nigeria in the first half of August, a Catholic teacher on Sunday (Aug. 14) was kidnapped from a church site, sources said.

Suspected members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) shot their way onto the site of St. Agnes Catholic Church in Dinya village, in Taraba state’s Gassol County, at about 10 p.m. and abducted the catechist, Gideon Tsehemba, said the Rev. Lawrence Awua, the parish priest.

“The ISWAP terrorists broke into the premises of our church on Sunday, Aug. 14, as we were already in our bedrooms,” Awua told Morning Star News in a text message. “They were shooting indiscriminately in the premises of the church. Our catechist, Mr. Gideon Tsehemba, was forcefully dragged out of the church with a gun pointed at him. I was already in my bedroom, but they thought there was no one around except the catechist.”…

More than 20 Christians were killed in Gassol and Bali counties by Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists during the first two weeks of the month, said Bali area resident Ayuba Matthew.

“Constant killings and maiming of innocent Christians by terrorists and herdsmen bandits have become very common here in Taraba state,” Matthew said. “So also, kidnappings of Christians has become a problem.”

The killings and kidnappings in the two counties displaced more than 10,000 people from the predominantly Christian villages of Karal, Ndiyanwo, Wurojam, Aenama, Garin Karfe, Wuro Jingi, Jauro Manu, Garin Gidado, Gurowa, Karekuka and Chul, he said.

Area resident Julius Ishaya told Morning Star News that terrorists attacked those communities and also the Gassol County villages of Wuro Bokki, Dadin Kowa, Yola-Kareje, Baba Aso, Zip and Namnai. In Bali County, terrorists also attacked Christians in Baba Juli, Garwa, Malam Baba and Bokki, he said.

On Sunday afternoon (Aug. 14) in Borno-Kurku village in Bali county, terrorists shot and wounded a Christian, Tavershima Faga, said area resident Dorcas Titus….

On Friday (Aug. 12), gunmen reportedly attacked predominantly Christian Karekuka village, Gassol County, killing 13 people, including six defenders who shot and killed six of the assailants, according to local news reports.

Terrorism by ISWAP stretched into Taraba state for the first time on April 19, killing six Christians, sources said. After an explosion killed the six Christians and wounded more than a dozen others at Christian-owned market where alcohol was served in Isware, Ardo Kola County, ISWAP released a statement on a telegram messaging channel asserting that it had detonated the explosive at “a gathering of infidel Christians,” according to local news reports.

ISWAP, an offshoot of Boko Haram, described its operatives as “soldiers of the caliphate in central Nigeria.”

While ISWAP has long carried out assaults in northeastern Nigeria, the Islamic extremists had not been active in Taraba until the attack, which was followed by another on April 22….

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.