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Nigerian Christians are trapped between COVID-19 and terrorism

The combination of COVID-19 and the rise in terrorist activity in Nigeria have left Christians in that country in peril.


Nigeria’s government has advised Christians to stay in their homes to avoid COVID-19, said Solomon. But if they remain locked down at home, they cannot escape when groups of terrorists attack them. The government fails to respond to these attacks, which have increased in frequency across Nigeria. In 2020, human rights groups estimated that radical Islamist militants murdered over 2,200 Christians.

The attacks during the pandemic are also having long-term consequences. Many Nigerians rely on farming to survive. Since radical Fulani militants often destroy or plunder crops when they attack, farmers’ livelihoods are destroyed, said Solomon. COVID-19 restrictions prevent them from leaving their homes to plant new crops.

Between COVID-19 and Fulani raids on crops, it’s likely only one in five Nigerian farms harvested what it planted this year, Solomon explained. The nation has never seen such widespread destruction of crops, and Nigerians will likely face famine in 2021.

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