Christian Orphanage Attacked in Nigeria

08/11/2021 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – According to the Religious Freedom Coalition, a Christian orphanage in Plateau State, Nigeria, was attacked and destroyed on August 2nd, by men reported to be jihadist Fulani.

The orphanage housed 147 children, all of whom were able to safely evacuate the home prior to the attack.

“The attackers came when the place was becoming dark around 7 p.m.,” a neighborhood watchman told the Epoch Times. “The Fulani got support from the Nigerian army. They were escorted by the army on three army vans. We saw them from afar coming in numbers,” the watchman said. “The soldiers did not help us. They allowed Fulani to burn down our houses.”

The orphanage is now “uninhabitable and the children remain dispersed,” according to the Religious Freedom Coalition.

“As Fulani herdsmen advance in the Miago and Jos areas they destroyed 500 homes, 5 churches and killed 68 Christians,” said the news source. “Many were wounded. Nigerian law prohibits anyone from owning a firearm in Nigeria, but oddly the Fulani had weapons exactly like those of the army.”

Nigeria is the largest country in Africa, with a total population of approximately 200 million. It is also the largest Christian population in Africa and will soon be the largest Christian population in the world. Due to a long and violent history, including conquests, empires and colonialism, Nigeria is a very dangerous place for Christians. Thousands of Christians are killed and tens of thousands displaced each year due to violence.

Nigeria is nearly split in half between Muslims and Christians, each representing approximately 45 percent of the population, with the remainder holding to traditional religions. The Hausa and Fulani are nearly all Muslim, and the North is the stronghold of Islam in Nigeria. Christians reside mostly in the southern parts of Nigeria. This leads to many tensions in the middle of the country, where the Muslim North meets the Christian South. These tensions have been designated by many as the “Middle Belt Crisis.”

Since 2001, there have been ongoing tensions between Fulani herders and Christian farmers throughout the Middle Belt. These tensions have been inflamed by smaller groups of Fulani militants who use religion as a basis for conducting attacks. Fulani Militants continue to be the biggest threat to Christian society in Nigeria today. They conduct regular small-scale attacks on individuals and somewhat regular attacks on villages or communities. These attacks include the recent killing of 65 people in Plateau State and Kaduna State on August 3 and 4, 2021.

On December 7th, The U.S. State Department added Nigeria to their list of Countries of Particular Concern for tolerating “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.” 

Please pray for peace in Nigeria, and for the Lord to comfort those grieving the loss of loved ones due to violence.  Please also pray for the perpetrators of this attack, that they will be blessed with knowing the truth of the gospel and accept Jesus as their savior.

For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: press@persecution.org.

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