By BosNewsLife Africa Service
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– Nigerian Christians were mourning their deaths Friday, March 21, as the full extend of Islamic militant attacks against them became clear, with at least 150 people killed since last weekend.
The most recent separate attacks involved Boko Haram, which fights for an Islamic state, and gunmen believed to be part of Fulani herdsmen who had a long-standing feud with Christian landowners.
Both attacks over the weekend in Kaduna state claimed the lives of nearly 150 people, according to fresh estimates.
The “Boko Haram terrorist group continues to carry out brutal attacks, seemingly without any resistance, despite the military enforced state of emergency. In the latest incident, churches were burned and Christians were killed,” said International Christian Concern (ICC), a major advocacy group investigating the incidents.
“The scale of these attacks is so great that more than 400 were killed in Boko Haram related attacks in the month of February alone.”
Yet, Fulani herdsmen attack is also troubling since it is becoming far more than just herdsmen fighting over access to pasture land or water, ICC explained. “Instead, they are intentionally decimating entire Christian villages.”
Besides in Kaduna, Fulani herdsmen attacked Christians in Nigeria’s Taraba state killing 35, Nigerian media reported.
The herdsmen reportedly properties, including a Catholic church, in several villages in the Takum local government area of Taraba State.
Elsewhere Islamist militants attacked late Sunday night and Monday morning, March 16-17, a predominantly Christian village in Borno state, killing at least two people, Christians said.
Scores of gunmen believed to be members of the insurgent Boko Haram, which seeks to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria, raided the village of Pela Birni, a remote Christian enclave in the Hawul Local Government Area in the southern part of Muslim-majority Borno state in Nigeria’s northeast, sources said.
The assailants set two church buildings ablaze, one belonging to the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) and the other to the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), along with many homes, killing two Christians in those specific attacks church leaders said.
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has come under local and international pressure to improve protection of Christians and other groups targeted in several areas of the African nation.
“The inability of the government and military to provide protection for Christians is inexcusable,” complained Todd Daniels, the regional manager for ICC.
“While certainly there are challenges, the military needs to devote substantial resources to seeing this process brought to an end,” he told BosNewsLife in a statement.
He also expressed concern over reports of “various government officials being involved in supporting various groups as a means of gaining political” leverage.
“These sorts of acts raise serious questions concerning both the integrity and the aptitude of the Nigerian politicians,” Daniels warned.
“The result has been that Christians have been left vulnerable to repeated, systematic acts of violence throughout the country.”
(BosNewsLife, the first truly independent news agency covering persecuted Christians, is ‘Breaking the News for Compassionate Professionals’ since 2004).
Please help BosNewsLife to be the voice of the voiceless. Click here for a subscription.
Follow BosNewsLife via Twitter