Nigeria: Twenty-nine Christians slaughtered in three-day pogrom

April 21, 2024

For information about Orthodox Christianity in Nigeria, see here.

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

“Twenty-nine Nigerian Christians slaughtered in three-day pogrom,” The Catholic Herald, April 19, 2024:

Suspected Fulani Islamist militants carried out on a three-day massacre in Pankshin Diocese in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, killing 29 Christians, injuring a further two, and burning down churches and houses.

The attacks took place across the villages of Kopnanle, Mandung, Bokkos Town and the Mbar district of Bokkos.

Speaking to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the Catholic charity for persecuted Christians, Father Andrew Dewan, director of communications in Pankshin Diocese, gave exclusive details about the attack.

He said: “The attacks started on Friday and carried on right through Saturday and into Sunday. Unusually, on Sunday the attacks took place in the morning and afternoon.

“This is a deviation from the attackers’ usual methods of striking only at night. It’s now taking place in broad daylight, when people expect it less.

“These attacks are designed to drive away the owners of the land, so the Muslim extremists can take over. The area is overwhelmingly populated by Christians, and the militant attackers need space to propagate their religious beliefs.

“These attacks follow the same pattern as previous attacks.

“There are religious and ethnic components, all mixed up together. When you look at the patterns of these attacks, over time it paints a clear picture.

“How can this be explained, except in terms of a religious conflict? These attacks build on the Christmas and Easter attacks.”

On Easter Monday, suspected Fulani extremists launched an attack in the Middle Belt, killing 10 Christians, including a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.

In a four-day killing spree beginning on 23rd December, suspected Fulani militants attacked 26 villages in Bokkos claiming the lives of more than 300 Christians.

Father Andrew denounced the Nigerian Government’s response to the attacks: “There is inaction from the government to this conflict at all levels. The primary purpose of government is to protect lives and property, and they have not done well in this regard.

“Most of the things said in the immediate aftermath of the Christmas Eve attacks are yet to be implemented. The promises the government has made amount to nothing but hot air.”…