Boko Haram, a radical Islamic insurgency bent on establishing a separate Islamic state, has perpetrated a campaign of terror against Nigeria’s Christians for years. Following what could have been its largest massacre yet, Boko Haram is finally getting the attention deserves heading into what could be the worst year of persecution in decades.
01/14/2014 Nigeria (Christian Times) – Boko Haram’s attack in Baga, Borno State, which killed hundreds, possibly thousands, on 3 January has once again drawn attention to the Islamist militant group that has been terrorising northern Nigeria for more than five years.
The group is responsible for the deaths of approximately 9,000 people in total, according to the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker, though estimates vary and this number does not include January’s attack. The Nigerian government has said there were 150 deaths in the Baga attack, but other reports suggest it was as many as 2,000. Amnesty International has said it could be the group’s deadliest attack to date.
Boko Haram’s international profile rose dramatically after the abduction of more than 250 schoolgirls from Chibok village, Borno state in April 2014, leading to the worldwide #BringBackOurGirls campaign. But these girls, most of whom are yet to be found, are just a fraction of the number of people Boko Haram has captured in the past couple of years. 40 young men were reportedly taken from Malari village in the northeast on 31 December 2014.