College student Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu was stoned to death in Sokoto, Nigeria on May 12, 2022. | Facebook via Morning Star News In the middle of Sunday morning services, gunmen on motorcycles surrounded and opened fire on worshippers at St. Moses Catholic Church and Maranatha Baptist Church in Kaduna state, Nigeria. Three Christians were killed and more than 30 were reportedly kidnapped . I covered it with For the Martyrs — the nonprofit I work for — but overall the story got little international attention.
Two weeks ago, on Pentecost Sunday, a tragic shooting at a Catholic Church in Owo, southwestern Nigeria, got unique international attention.
During the church service, gunmen opened fire upon the congregation and detonated explosives. Initial reports said that at least 50 people were killed, including women and many young children. The current, confirmed number is 40. Many more were injured. Doctors and volunteers scrambled to provide aid and begged the community to donate blood. The government’s interior minister blamed Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) for the attack, but the group has yet to claim responsibility.
These recent spates of violence against Christians in Nigeria did not happen in a vacuum.
For over a decade, violence against Christians has been raging across Nigeria, mainly in the north, as shootings, mobs, Islamic militants, church burnings, and kidnappings strike daily and often unreported blows to Nigeria’s Christian community. In fact, Open Doors ruled that Nigeria is the most violent place in the world for Christians, with over 4,000 Christians murdered in 2021 alone. Usually, these instances only make small waves in international news.
Nigeria is roughly half Christian and half Muslim. Christians are the majority in southern Nigeria while Muslims hold the majority in the north, according to the State Department . Islamic militant groups like ISWAP and Boko Haram, in […]
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