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08/09/2022 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Fulani Militants attempted to rape a 16-year-old Christian girl on the morning of August 8 while she was walking with her mother to their farmland in Nkiendonwro village, roughly 20 miles from Jos, the capital of Plateau state.

An ICC contact visited the family after the attack and spoke with the victims.  “They told us to stop,” said the girl’s mother, “Then the Fulani [militants] beat me and injured me… I was trying to stop them from raping my daughter.” As she spoke, the mother kept her arm raised, revealing a deep gash she suffered from the militants. 

The woman explained that the Fulani militants had seized her land and burned down her house in 2017, forcing her and her family to move closer to the city for their safety. No longer having their farmland has caused the family of seven to fall into deep poverty, where they currently live and sleep in a one-room home. 

ICC’s contact in Nigeria did not speak to the minor, as she was traumatized and crying throughout the visit. The mother said God used her to protect her daughter from public disgrace and shame, which is often how victims of rape are viewed in their society.  

“I have nothing to say but thank God,” said the mother, “Please tell Christian to pray for my daughter and me. Pray that we will return to our village one day because life is too expensive for us in the city.”  

Nkiendonwro village was deserted in 2017 after 29 Christians were killed by Fulani militants in a classroom massacre. Since then, the militants have occupied the land, and Christians don’t have access to their farms and homes despite a series of peace meetings with the Fulani leaders. Out of desperation, many villagers try to return to their farmlands to retrieve resources, such as firewood, for survival.  

The Fulani militants received ICC’s dubious award for worst persecuting entity in the 2022 Persecutor of the Year Awards. Due to violent terrorist groups and government indifference, tens of thousands have been killed, and millions have been displaced. 

“Christian communities in the Middle Belt of Nigeria have effectively suffered a 20-year-long genocide,” said ICC President Jeff King. “Where is any action? The Nigerian government gives these attacks lip service without any meaningful response. Where is the outcry? Where is effective action? In Nigeria, the military, the police, and the intelligence agencies are all controlled by Muslims. This, coupled with a 20-year lack of response by these agencies, should naturally lead to deeper questioning by the world community. Simply put, the time for cheap talk and platitudes is over. The world is waking up and starting to ask, ‘Is the Nigerian government complicit in these attacks?’ Time will tell, but for this long-time watcher, the decision is in.” 

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Since 1995, ICC has served the global persecuted church through a three-pronged approach of advocacy, awareness, and assistance. ICC exists to bandage the wounds of persecuted Christians and to build the church in the toughest parts of the world.