Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Eight Christians were kidnapped by Fulani Militants on Good Friday in Jos, Plateau State. Four were released after paying a $2,000 ransom. A woman among them related to an ICC staffer said that she was raped several times by two leaders of the Fulani Militants. “The militant told us, after receiving the ransom money, that they got money to kill more Christians,” she said.
Such stories can be heard repeatedly in the surrounding Christian villages of Ariri, Kpachudu, La’ake as well as hundreds of others across Nigeria’s fertile Middle Belt.
After being shot on his right leg, David, a 38-year-old potato farmer, spent Easter Sunday laying in a rickety hospital bed in central Nigeria. The day prior, his village of Rikwechogu was attacked by men wielding AK-47s and machetes. While he survived, his brother, who had come to celebrate Easter with him, was killed, along with a Catholic priest.
Nigerian government officials deemed the attacks to have been perpetrated by “Unknown Gunmen” or so-called “Bandits.” But to locals, these men are very well known. They are Fulani Militants, who for years have been targeting Christian communities, burning their houses, and killing their family members.
V.E., a resident health practitioner from Miango county, told ICC that the hospital she works at called “Enos Hospital” has treated over 200 Christians attacked by Fulani Militants this year. Most of them are unable to afford their hospital bills.
David’s mother, visiting her surviving son in the hospital on Easter morning, told ICC, “Our Catechists Simon Doro, 45, and John Krede, 52, cousin to the catechists, were killed by Fulani Militants this year.”
Pastor Ibrahim, a Fulani Christian, was also killed by Fulani Militants on Saturday. “Fulani Terrorists killed Pastor Ibrahim Isah early this morning on April 16th at his house, immediately after attacking Kpachudu Village,” a local told ICC. Ibrahim’s wife, now widow, said that her husband was killed because he is a Christian. She also said Fulani militants stole 38 of their cows, destroyed their house and church, and are now after her life as well as the lives of her five children.
In the nearby State of Kaduna, Fulani Militants also attacked Kagoro village on Holy Saturday morning. “Just when everything was moving on well, when Christians were in contemplative reflective mood, the Fulani Militants attacked and were shooting sporadically leaving one person dead and one with a bullet injury,” said B.A. The same village was attacked last month. ICC visited the village after the attack and counted over two hundred houses burned down.
An ICC correspondent was at Ariri village for Good Friday worship, after the village was attacked by Fulani militants on April 2nd. He said that 54 adults came to the village church. “They all gathered in the burnt church without a roof, sitting on stones. The resident Pastor told members to endure persecution and accept every challenge as the will of God. He also pleaded with Christians to rebuild their houses and churches.”
This article originally appeared here.