One Christian was killed and 53 were kidnapped on Dec. 25 in southern Kaduna State, Nigeria after more than 40 Christians were slain in the week leading up to Christmas, Morning Star News reported.
Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists on Dec. 25 attacked Angwan Aku village in Kajuru County, Kaduna State, said James Akawu, an area resident.
“Church worship service was about to commence when the attackers arrived at the village riding on motorbikes and shooting sporadically,” Akawu told Morning Star News. “They killed one Christian and kidnapped 53 other Christians who are still being held captive.”
In Kaura County, residents said herdsmen and other terrorists killed 40 Christians in Mallagum on Dec. 18 and another three Christians in Kagoro on Dec. 23, area sources said.
Inspired to impose Islam
Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief noted in a recent report.
Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.
In the 2022 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to seventh place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 9 the previous year.