Rising Persecution of Christians in Africa

Farrukh Saif

June 15, 2024

Christian Persecution in Africa

The persecution of Christians in Africa has become much worse in recent years, with Nigeria being a significant hotspot. Thousands of Christians have been killed, and many villages have been destroyed, especially in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Increasing Violence: 2022-2024

Violence against Christians in Nigeria has sharply increased in the past two years. In 2022, reports indicate that Islamist group Fulani killed over 6,000 Christians and destroyed 17 villages. This violence has forced over two million people to leave their homes and created a humanitarian crisis, preventing hundreds of thousands of children from going to school.

The situation remained severe in 2023, with continuous attacks. The Observatory of Religious Freedom in Africa (ORFA) reported that Christians in Nigeria are being killed and kidnapped at higher rates. One notable incident was the killing of 40 Christians and the injury of 60 others during an attack on a church in Ondo State on June 5, 2022.

Despite the change in government in Nigeria, Christian persecution persists, and there are increasing worries about more violence and the potential division of the country along religious and ethnic lines. The Islamist groups controlling the northern part of Nigeria have become a greater threat to the government and Christians across Nigeria.

 Violence in the Sahel Region:

The Sahel region, which includes several countries in West and Central Africa, has also seen a rise in violence against Christians. Terrorist groups like Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa continue to attack Christian communities, defying authorities.

Although exact numbers are hard to get due to the unstable security situation, reports suggest that thousands of Christians have been killed in the Sahel region in recent years. Many more have been displaced or kidnapped or facing forced conversion in different areas.

Fulani militants have also been responsible for many attacks on Christian villages in countries like Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, worsening the situation in the Sahel region.

Urgent Need for Action:

The persecution of Christians in Africa, especially in Nigeria and the Sahel region, has reached critical levels in the past two years. Thousands of Christians have been killed, villages destroyed, and millions displaced. Immediate action from governments and the international community is necessary to protect the lives and rights of Christians in these areas.

With broken hearts, we witness the devastation of Christian communities in Africa. As an organization deeply committed to human rights, we find it deeply troubling that the world seems indifferent to the genocide occurring in these regions.

What We should Do As Christians:

It is heartbreaking to see that the Western world appears more focused on economic interests and political alliances, turning a blind eye to the suffering and loss of countless innocent lives. The cries of those persecuted echo in silence, overshadowed by the clamor of economic gain and strategic partnerships.

The Bible reminds us, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9). Yet, it seems the world is failing to heed this call, allowing injustice to thrive unchecked.

We believe that every life is precious and that the value of human dignity transcends borders and interests. Jesus taught us, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). This compels us to act with compassion and to advocate for those who suffer.

Let us stand together and raise the voice for the Persecuted Christians in Africa.

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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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