November was a tragically painful month for Christians living in Nigeria. The month was filled with anti-Christian violence, but not necessarily from the fearsome terrorists at Boko Haram.
No, Nigerian Christians are now learning that they have as much to fear from their Muslim neighbors as they do the monsters of Boko Haram.
In a report from Morning Star News we learned of two separate November attacks that saw some 50 Christian men, women (including pregnant women), and children slaughtered not by organized Muslim terrorists… but by simple, Muslim herdsmen.
Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed at least 12 Christians in southern Kaduna state on Wednesday and Friday (Nov. 23-25) in what Christian leaders call a campaign of ethnic and religious cleansing.
rea resident Joshua Aku told Morning Star News in Gidan Waya that the attacks began in Pasakori on Wednesday evening (Nov. 23). Herdsmen killed the Pasakori village head, Ayuba Gwafan, in an armed assault that began at about 5 p.m. and lasted an hour, he said.
The herdsmen came back to the area on Friday and attacked a neighboring village killing several more people. The herdsmen also burned down both Protestant and Catholic churches in the region. Altogether the attacks on Wednesday and Friday saw 12 Christians murdered in cold blood. The killings followed a series of attacks from earlier in the month when 35 Christians lost their lives to Muslim violence.
At a press conference on Nov. 16, the Rev. Zachariah Gado of the ECWA decried “a campaign of ethno-religious cleansing by Fulani herdsmen militia.”
About 120 homes were looted and destroyed and six church buildings burned down in the Nov. 13 attack on Kaura LGA, Gado said, asserting that ethno-religious cleansing may have intensified after Kaduna officials announced plans to allocate 20,000 hectares of land in southern Kaduna for grazing reserves, beyond that which the herdsmen have already seized and illegally occupied.
To make matters worse, many living in the region believe that the herdsmen may actually be disguised members of the Nigerian military. This belief is fed by the fact that the military and government have been unable to bring the perpetrators of countless acts of violence to justice.
“Since the latest onslaught on southern Kaduna began [in May], at least 138 people have been killed, most of them women and children, and at least 1,300 homes and church buildings have been torched,” he said.
In Jema’a LGA alone, 102 people have been killed in 25 Christian communities in the past six months, amounting to ethnic and religious cleansing, the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Samson Supo Ayokunle, said at a press conference in Abuja last week.
“Is this not Boko Haram in another color?” he said. “I want to plead with the government – this is a moment of truth. It is not about politics, religion or ethnicity. It is about the value that is attached to life.”
The Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Godogodo Zone, the Rev. Chawangon Nathan, said the nonchalant attitude of state and federal authorities had allowed the attacks that began on May 26 to degenerate into an uncontrolled crisis.
The worldwide Christian community is under assault. Christians are near-extinct in many corners of the Muslim world and in non-Muslim regions the secular governments continue to suppress the free exercise of the Christian faith. The time to confront these hard truths has long since passed. Our brothers and sisters in the Muslim world need our help… will we not give it to them?