It is no mystery who has been killing Christians in the African nation of Nigeria over the past year. And the killing is just part of it. Atrocities are being committed, intended to terrify people into leaving their land, and churches are being destroyed.
A new report by The Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) found that 1,000 Christians have died since January and an estimated 6,000-plus have been killed since 2015.
The charity identified the Islamist Fulani militia as the cause of the slaughter in a report titled “Your Land Or Your Blood”.
Charity founder and CEO Baroness Caroline Cox told Premier News Hour that it’s a tragedy that has been worsening for about three years. “Fulani who have been attacking the Christian villages and land grab, and they attack, they burn, they kill, they carry out atrocities, they drive the Christians off their land,” she said.
“And that’s why it’s ‘your land’, you give us or ‘we will kill you’, and it’s your blood. It’s been happening on a huge scale, and one of the terrifying things is not just killings, but it’s the most murderous atrocities, which are designed to drive people off their land because of terrorism.”
The report, which details the growing persecution and displacement of Christians in northern and central Nigeria, revealed that Christian priests and community leaders are being targeted and that hundreds of churches have been destroyed. The government has been inactive in the situation, Cox said.
“There are thousands and thousands of people who have been driven off the land with these terrible atrocities taking place. They’re just displaced people.
“The government seems to do nothing to protect them when the attacks take place because they have a policy that before they intervene, they have to get permission from the head of the state and that has to give the head of Nigeria, and that has to come back, by the time it comes back the killings have taken place and the Fulani have gone.”
She called for the Nigerian government to provide for the displaced people and keep to account those carrying out the “horrendous attacks,” and for Christians to pray that the suffering will be comforted and the Nigerian government will acknowledge its responsibility.