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ICC Note: Deaf communities in Northern Nigeria are being targeted by militants more often than other communities. More attention should be given to this community as reports state that deaf communities suffer the most because of limited access to communication and therefore lack proper security.  

07/25/20178 Nigeria (Mission Network News) – Ongoing attacks in Northern Nigeria have put Nigerian Christians at risk, but Rob Meyers of DOOR International says Deaf Christians are especially vulnerable.

The two primary groups responsible for what many are calling “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” are Boko Haram, known for kidnappings and attacks against Christians in Northern Nigeria, and the Fulani militant herdsmen.

“Most of them are shepherds, which sounds kind of innocuous, but they’re shepherds with AK-47s and other large-scale weapons,” Meyers says. Although he says some authorities claim the conflict is land-based, but “Those Fulani militants have gone into churches and Christian funerals and slaughtered the people who were attending those services.”

“Just within the last six months, thousands of Christians have lost their lives because of these attacks.”

And Deaf communities feel it even harder than most. Many parents of Deaf individuals don’t have access to sign language training, making it a struggle for Deaf children to connect with even their own parents.

“Deaf children end up very isolated, and that makes them vulnerable,” Meyers says. “They can be vulnerable to being taken advantage of even within their own homes, so many of these militant groups will target Deaf people.”

 

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For interviews with Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org