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02/28/2020 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – In a complete switch, the Nigerian Federal government has released a statement that Boko Haram and its affiliate, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), are now specifically targeting Christians. The statement, made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that though this was not the case historically, Boko Haram has clearly started targeting Christians.

Mohammed said that, “Recall that Boko Haram insurgents didn’t use to discriminate between Christians and Muslims when they carried out their attacks in the past. Churches and mosques, Christians and Muslims were attacked without discrimination.” He continued that, “When they targeted motor parks, the religion, gender, ethnicity or political leaning of the victims didn’t matter, as long as they inflicted the maximum damage to lives and property.”

Though it is arguable that the group has not always held a special hatred for Christians, Mohammed is correct in his assessment that Boko Haram has a renewed vigor for killing Christians. He said, “But in the wake of a renewed onslaught by our tireless military against Boko Haram and their ISWAP allies in recent times, the insurgents have apparently changed their strategy. They have started targeting Christians and Christian villages for a specific reason, which is to trigger a religious war and throw the nation into chaos.” Again, it is pretty clear that Boko Haram has long been trying to start a religious war in Nigeria. However, it is good to see that the Nigerian government might be done trying to say that Christians are not being targeted.

Since the beginning of December 2019, there have been several major incidents where Christians were clearly targeted. These include:

  • 11 Christians executed on Christmas eve
  • Killing of Christian student Ropvil Dalep
  • Killing of Christian Association of Nigeria Leader Lawan Andimi
  • Attack on the Christian village of Garkida where 3 churches were destroyed

Now they must move further in protecting their citizens from these attacks. They must also start to help their citizerns rebuild churches, homes, and lives. This is the only way that they can show that they truly care for all of their citizens equally.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].