Nigeria has been named as a key country of concern for 2020 by Christian persecution watchdog Release International.
‘Tens of thousands of Christians are being driven from their homes by the ongoing persecution in Nigeria,’ says Release CEO Paul Robinson. ‘While the death toll is rising, the world simply watches. Nigeria’s government appears to lack the will or the power to prevent the killings.’
Christians in Nigeria are being targeted by three Islamist terror groups: Boko Haram, its offshoot ISWAP, and heavily armed Fulani militia who are killing thousands and taking over their villages.
Release International’s Nigeria partner, Archbishop Ben Kwashi, says: ‘Across the north, the mainly Muslim Fulani have been taking land from predominantly Christian farmers by force and occupying their villages.’
‘They attack, typically, in the middle of the night while people are sleeping. They shoot in the air and create panic to drive the villagers out. When the people flee from their houses into the darkness, the Fulani lie in wait with their machetes and cut them down. Again and again. And the government seems powerless to stop them.’
Writing in a recent book, Neither Bomb Nor Bullet (Lion Hudson 2019), Archbishop Kwashi warns: ‘Nigeria has become the largest killing ground for Christians in the world today.’