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Pastor, wife and three other Christians murdered in Nigeria

Suspected radical Fulani herdsmen raided a village with guns in Kwall District, Bassa County, Nigeria.

The victims are 63 year-old Pastor Dauda Dalyop, leader of the Assemblies of God Church; his wife, 57 year-old Chummy Dauda; 26 year-old Chwe Ajuhs; 45 year-old Joshua Kusa and 43 year-old Rikwe Doro.

According to Sam Jugo, spokesman for the Irigwe Development Association, a group of the predominantly Christian ethnic group in Plateau state: “In the middle of the night of June 2, Fulani herdsmen invaders attacked and killed five of our residents in cold blood at Ari Songo hamlet in Kimakpa area of Kwall District. Two other Christians were severely injured and are currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Jos. This sad incident is coming just two days after some herdsmen ambushed two other Christians, killing one of them, Mr. Irmiya Musa Timbi, while the second victim was injured.”

The Evangelical Church Winning All urged the Nigerian government to investigate anti-Christian atrocities and punish the perpetrators. Reverend Akus Odoh of Miango District Church Council, condemned the attack and called for a thorough police investigation: “Nigeria has lost its values, and the government doesn’t respect the right to life.”

According to Open Doors UK, around 6,000 Christians are reported to have paid the ultimate cost for following Jesus last year. This is an increase of almost 25% from 2022. Violence against Christians derives from these groups: Boko Haram, Islamic State in West African Province, Fulani militants and armed ‘bandits’. The attacks occur primarily in the Muslim-majority north and are spreading to the predominantly Christian south. 

Killing Christian men is a key strategy of all three groups, because it destroys livelihoods and depopulates Christian communities. 12 northern states are governed by Sharia law and there is a  culture of violations against non-Muslim rights not being punished. The attacks are often brutal and involve destruction of properties, abductions for ransom, sexual violence and death. Christians are stripped of their livelihoods and driven from their homes, causing them a lifetime of grief and trauma.

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