Persecution Chronicles: 52250 Nigerian Christians Murdered over 14 years

Farrukh Saif

December 27, 2023

Christian Persecution in Nigeria

More than 50,000 Christians killed in Nigeria by Islamists over the past 14 years.

A recently published report by the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) reveals that since the onset of the Boko Haram and Fulani Muslim herders Islamist insurgency in 2009, over 50,000 Christians have been killed in Nigeria.

Titled “Martyred Christians in Nigeria,” the report details the dire situation of religious persecution and violence, with at least 52,250 Nigerian Christians brutally murdered by Islamist militants over the past 14 years.

The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), a Nigerian-based research and investigative rights group, has been monitoring and investigating religious persecution and other forms of religious violence by State and non-state actors across Nigeria since 2010.

Christian Persecution in Nigeria :

In the past 14 years, at least 52,250 Nigerian Christians have been brutally murdered by Islamist militants, with more than 30,000 of these crimes occurring during the eight-year presidency of former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari’s leadership was frequently criticized for inadequacies in addressing the escalating insecurity situation in the country. It is even believed by some groups that he was involved in supporting terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and Fulani Muslim herders.

Destruction of Churches and Schools:

The report also highlighted that during Buhari’s eight years, 18,000 Christian churches and 2,200 Christian schools were destroyed. Additionally, approximately 34,000 moderate Muslims lost their lives in Islamist attacks.

The point of 2023 is serious, more than a thousand Christians have been killed since the beginning of the year. During this same period, a minimum of 707 Christians were kidnapped. The Northern Nigerian Niger State alone documented over 200 abductions, notably the abduction of over 100 Christians in Adunu (Paikoro) on 14 March 2023. Kaduna recorded at least 101 instances of anti-Christian abductions, with other affected states including Katsina, Taraba, Edo, Ogun, Nassarawa, Kwara, Kogi, Borno, Yobe, Adawama, Bauchi, Enugu, Imo, Kebbi, Gombe, Bayelsa, and Cross River.

Islamic Extremism:

Christians face peril not only from the activities of Boko Haram but also from ethnic Fulani Muslim herders who have aligned themselves with Islamist extremist groups. These combined attacks have resulted in mass forcible displacement, with approximately 5 million Christians being displaced and compelled to seek refuge in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps within Nigeria and refugee camps located at regional and sub-regional borders. This information is detailed in the Intersociety report.

The terror inflicted by Boko Haram and Fulani Muslim herders has significantly contributed to the humanitarian crisis, causing widespread displacement and compelling affected communities to seek refuge in these camps.

Christian Persecution in the World:

Christian persecution persists globally due to various factors, primarily driven by extremist ideologies affiliated with Islamist groups. In many regions, Christian’s encounter discrimination, violence, and restrictions on religious freedoms, leading to significant challenges to their faith.

It has been observed that some governments limit the freedom of Christian worship, while also supporting hardline Islamic groups. Whenever anything happens in the Western world or in the Middle East, Islamic groups are often found vandalism or destruction of churches and religious symbols, eroding the cultural and spiritual heritage of Christian communities. Christian women are girls who are often forced to convert to Islam and forcibly married to elderly Muslim men.

Social ostracization and economic discrimination are additional forms of persecution that Christians may endure in various Islamic Countries.

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Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a courageous Christian human rights activist, established the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to confront religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His dedication to liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns and advocating for blasphemy victims and asylum seekers has garnered international acclaim. Despite encountering threats and fatwas, his impactful work persists in supporting marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, enhancing its global outreach.


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