In 2023, over 1,000 Christians in Nigeria fell victim to attacks by Islamic extremists, resulting in a tragic loss of life , as reported by International Christian Concern. Various extremist groups, including Boko Haram and Fulani militants, were responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Christians who couldn’t meet their ransom demands.
Community leaders attributed the kidnapping of Christians and destruction of farm produce before harvest to Fulani militants, while Christian religious leaders viewed these actions as a form of persecution. However, the Nigerian government referred to the perpetrators as ‘unknown gunmen’ or ‘bandits.’ In Plateau State, more than 400 Christians lost their lives to Fulani militants in areas such as Mangu, Barkin Ladi, and Riyom local government throughout the year.
In northern Nigeria, seven Christians were kidnapped by Fulani militants, who forcibly took them from a restaurant in Bauchi State on August 21. These terrorists are demanding a substantial ransom of $2,600 USD (N2 million), an overwhelming sum for struggling rural families from Bassa in Plateau State. Their lives have already been devastated by terrorist activities in their hometowns, and even a simple trip for food is fraught with danger due to constant threats. Sadly, many Christian villages in the region have fallen under the control of these Fulani terrorists, leaving residents without safety even in their supposed places of refuge.
Five of the kidnapped individuals were fortunately released on August 23 and quickly taken to the hospital, but two others met a tragic end for failing to meet the ransom demands. The militants openly admitted that they were financing further attacks on Christian communities through their kidnappings.
While the National Leader of the Irigwe Chiefdom in Plateau speaks out about the persecution of Christians, the Nigerian government’s silence leaves persecuted Christians at the mercy of these armed individuals.