Attacks against Christian in northern and central Nigeria have continued to escalate in both number and brutality over the past weeks. Christian families living in Nigeria’s central states have been slaughtered by Muslim extremists supposedly encouraged by the extremist group Boko Haram. Also, Christians living in the northern states have had to continue to live in a constant state of fear due to the potential of being targeted by Boko Haram as the group fights the government to carve out a separate Islamic state where it can impose its radical interpretation of Islamic law.
9/12/2013 Nigeria (BosNewsLife) – Nigerian authorities are investigating the killings of Christian family members by Muslim fighters and the kidnapping of Nigeria’s second-highest ranking Anglican leader, Archbishop Ignatius Kattey.
The latest wave of anti-Christian attacks began Sunday, September 1, when suspected Muslim ethnic Fulani herdsmen shot five members of a Christian family to death, including a 7-year-old boy, and killed another Christian in Kungte village, in Plateau State, local Christians said.
Killed along with Peter Dung, 50, were his wife, Rose, 47; his son, Sati, 25; his daughter, Taiye, 17; and his 7-year-old son, Samson, residents said. Another son, 20-year-old David, was not in the house at the time and was the sole survivor. His family were members of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), news reports said.
Another Christian, Dung Dauda, 42, was shot and killed while he was returning to the village during the violence, according to relatives.
Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Yiljap Abraham, called the violence “inhuman and utter display of insensitivity to the sanctity of lives.”
He said seven of the attackers were detained, but that the investigation was continuing.
The violence came shortly after 10 people were killed in similar circumstances in the Foron district, raising fears of a resurgence of sectarian killings in Plateau after a tense calm, local media reported.
While cattle theft was believed to be among the reasons behind the latest attacks, anti-Christian violence has been encouraged by the militant group Boko Haram, or ‘Western Education is a Sin’, which fights for an independent Islamic state.
Elsewhere in the country, police was still searching for Archbishop Ignatius Kattey, who was abducted Friday, September 6, on his way to Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, officials said.
Local media quoted a source close to the Archbishop’s family as saying that the kidnappers established contact and demanded ten million naira ($61,500) ransom.