Attacks on Christians ends in deaths, kidnappings

Two Christians have been killed while more than 100 others were kidnapped in an attack on a church service in Nigeria over the weekend.

Gunmen opened fire during a service at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

No one has claimed responsibility for the two separate incidents, but Baptist Press says it is widely attributed to militant Fulani herdsmen.

Herdsmen are alleged to have killed Ezra Haruna, of Godiya Baptist Church, in Ungwan Barau village.

Many of the parishioners were said to have fled into nearby bushes.

Kaduna mapped out where the incidents took place.

Boko Haram terrorists are known for kidnapping Christian school girls in particular, but the location of the incidents in the Middle Belt instead of the Boko Haram-heavy northeast has led some church advocates to attribute the crimes to militant herdsmen.

The latest of a series of attacks occurred in the northern central state of Kaduna that has been beset by violence and insecurity.

It comes after repeated calls from church campaigners to the Nigerian government to take action against the assaults on Christians.

Reverend Joseph Hayab, speaking on behalf of the Kaduna branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria told national newspaper, Politics Nigeria, he is “seriously worried” about more attacks.

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Jo Newhouse, Sub Saharan Africa spokesperson for Open Doors, added the national government was “grossly failing its citizens”.

She is warning that insecurity in the region is “creating an ideal breeding ground for extremism”.

“This kidnapping is a shocking example of the audacity of the so-called bandits and the impunity that is escalating, seemingly without bounds in Nigeria,” Ms Newhouse said.

“The government is grossly failing its citizens in this matter and the continuing lawlessness is creating an ideal breeding ground for extremism.”


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