Persecution of Christians in Nigeria: note that these herdsmen burned a church building. Meanwhile, in Turkey, the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently appropriated two historic church buildings, Hagia Sophia and the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora. Of course the Aminchi Baptist Church in Damba Kasaya, Nigeria was not a historical, cultural, or architectural landmark, but nonetheless all three incidents are manifestations of the same assumptions. The conversion of the historic churches in Istanbul and the burning of this church in Nigeria all proceed from the assumption that the Christian community’s very existence is offensive, its worship illegitimate, and its subordination emphasized by the destruction or seizure of its houses of worship.
The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, continues to implore the United Nations and the governments of all nations that are committed to human rights and religious freedom to pay attention to the plight of Nigeria’s Christians, including its small and courageous Orthodox Christian community. Those Christians are walking the way of the Cross. May our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ also bless them with the joy of a resurrection and new flourishing of their communities.
For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria from ChristianPersecution.com, see here.
“One Man Slain, Children and Others Kidnapped in North-Central Nigeria,” Morning Star News, August 28, 2020:
JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Fulani herdsmen attacked a predominantly Christian village in north-central Nigeria, killing one resident, burning a church building and kidnapping four children among others on Monday (Aug. 24), sources said.
More than 20 herdsmen rode into Damba Kasaya village, Kaduna state, on motorcycles at about 8 a.m. in an attack in which they kidnapped four students, including a 10-year-old girl, from a school.
“Our church, Aminchi Baptist Church, here in Damba Kasaya, was burned, and Mr. Benjamin Auta, aged 35, was killed during the attack,” village resident Nuhu Aruwa told Morning Star News by text message.
Local news reports said Auta was killed while pursuing the fleeing herdsmen, but Aruwa said they killed him in his house, which is close to the school where the students were kidnapped. The herdsmen abducted seven Christians from the village in Chikun County, he said.
“Among them were four students of Prince Academy and one of their teachers,” Aruwa said. “Two other Christian farmers, a woman and a man, were captured and taken away too by the herdsmen.”
Village resident Emmanuel Zakka said three girls were kidnapped among the students – 10-year-old Favour Danjuma, Miracle Saitu Danjuma, 15, and Happiness Odoji, 16 – along with Ezra Bako, 17. Zakka identified the kidnapped teacher as Christiana Madugu, 29.
In the same county’s Damishi village, herdsmen reportedly abducted six Christians on Saturday (Aug. 22) from a hotel where they had taken refuge after Fulani herdsmen attacked their village. Two of the six kidnapped were women nursing babies.
On Saturday (Aug. 22) in Kakura village, in the Kajuma area also in Chikun County, Muslim Fulani herdsmen reportedly kidnapped an Anglican priest and his 10-year-old son. The Rev. Meshach Luka of the Anglican Diocese of Kaduna and his son were kidnapped from his station at Kakura II Kujama Missionary Archdeaconry.
They were freed on Monday (Aug. 24), according to the Hausa Christians Foundation, without providing details of their release.
The assaults were the latest in an acceleration of herdsmen attacks this year in Kaduna state. More than 50,000 Christians have been displaced from 109 villages now occupied by armed Fulani herdsmen in Kachia, Kajuru, Chikun and Kaura counties, all in southern Kaduna state, according to Luka Binnayat Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU).
Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) noted in a recent report.
“They adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP [Islamic State West Africa Province] and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity,” the APPG report states.
Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds….