02/28/2022 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – The events leading up to the death of Reverend Shuaibu Yohanna are inconceivable for most Westerners. But for Christians in northern Nigeria, such occurrences have become commonplace.
The reverend was assaulted in September 2021 in a village in Nigeria’s northeastern Kano. A Christian convert in the village had recently killed a woman, and while he was not a practicing Christian, extreme Muslims assumed that Christianity was the cause of the murder.
The uprising that ensued from the Muslim community forced Yohanna to flee the area. He came back, however, when he felt the need to protect the students at the Christian school he had founded.
While on his way to evacuate the school, a mob of Islamic extremists attacked Yohanna and macheted him to death.
The north is the stronghold of Islam in Nigeria, and 12 northern states have adopted criminal Sharia law. This has led to discrimination against Christians at an unprecedented level and given extremist groups the courage to act out against minorities.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of pastors have been threatened, targeted, and killed by jihadists over the past decade, often leaving behind grieving families without any means of income.
Most recently, in December 2021, extremists sent a threatening letter to Christians in northern Zamfara state, telling them to close all churches and stop worship or risk “ferocious attacks.” With little confidence in protection from their Muslim-led government, believers were forced to relocate or take their faith underground.
This left pastors, who depend on the tithes of congregants as their salary, with no means to provide for their families.
In December 2021, ICC paid for emergency packages that were distributed to 150 pastors or their widows in six of Nigeria’s northern states. Families that lost their breadwinners, like Reverend Yohanna’s family, and pastors who lost their income received various food items, hygienic products, clothes, and financial support for their entire family.
With your help and through God’s provision, ICC will continue to seek out and serve Christians who are genuinely amongst the most persecuted in the world.
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