At Least 32 Christians Killed in Nigeria
Four Churches Burned Down During Fulani Attack
02/18/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Fulani militants attacked three Christian villages in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State, Nigeria on January 26 and 27. During this attack, at least 32 people were killed in the villages of Kwatas, Rubio, and Marish. In addition to the 32 Christians who were killed, four churches in these communities were also burned down.
These churches include the Kauna Baptist Church and Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) in Rubio village, and the COCIN Church and Anglican Church in Marish. Although other structures were also destroyed, the destruction of these churches demonstrates a particular hatred toward Christianity. Despite this, the Nigerian government insists that there is no religious motivation in Fulani militant attacks throughout Nigeria’s Middle Belt region.
Aside from the churches, at least 65 compounds were burnt or razed in Rubio and another 45 compounds in Marish. This has left 7,500 people without homes, churches, or access to food and work.
Following the attacks, 20 of those who were killed were given a mass burial on January 30. This was attended by hundreds of those who knew and loved them. Dressed in black, mourners made up of primarily women, children, and the elderly, gathered at Luna Mortuary in Bokkos town to bid farewell to their loved ones. This attack has left many children without parents and has put a heavy strain on the communities to provide for those with nothing.
A community youth leader, John Akans, said, “The mass burial has been conducted and 20 bodies were buried; women and children who put on black clothes all gathered. Bokkos community was in a mourning mood.”
Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, said, “These kinds of attacks on Christians in Nigeria are so commonplace that the world finds it easy to turn a blind eye. Few care that there are people killed daily. International media and organizations want to pass these kinds of tragedies off as normal or historical. They want to say that there could not be a religious motivation for them. That would make it too difficult to deal with. For the people involved daily, however, this is life and death. The world can no longer turn a blind eye. We have to be willing to call this what it is: murder. The Nigerian government must be held accountable for not protecting its citizens, and the perpetrators must be punished. The Nigerian government must also show its commitment to the nation’s Christian citizens by helping to rebuild their places of worship which are daily burned down or destroyed.”