Rev. Lawan Andimi, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika in Adamawa State, has been abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists, following an attack on Thursday.
His abduction was disclosed by the district head of Michika, Ngida Kwache, while receiving the state deputy governor, Crowther Seth who visited the area on Saturday.
“The pastor was abducted the day Boko Haram attacked our community. He was last seen when the suspected insurgents forced him into a Toyota Hilux. Since then, we have not heard from him or his abductors,” he said.
In separate appeals, three district heads, Ngida Kwache, Bello Ijeidi and Lawan Luka, representing Michika, Gulak and Koppa respectively, called for more troops in the communities located around Sambisa forest.
The deputy governor reassured the affected communities that the administration of Governor Ahmadu Fintiri had stepped up efforts to ensure peace in the state, saying their requests would be forwarded to the Federal Government for appropriate action.
Last month, the U.S. State Department listed Nigeria on its “special watch list,” designating it among countries that have “severe violations of religious freedom” because of the Nigerian government’s inability to thwart an increase in violence and abductions carried out in various areas of the country.
“We are designating [Nigeria] special watch list for the first time because of all of the increasing violence and communal activity and the lack of effective government response and the lack of judicial cases being brought forward in that country,” U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback told reporters in December.
“It is a dangerous situation in too many parts of Nigeria. The government has either not been willing to or have been ineffective in their response and the violence continues to grow.”
The U.K.-based nongovernmental organization Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust issued a report in November claiming that at least 1,000 Christians were killed by Fulani and Boko Haram extremists in 2019 while as many as 6,000 have been killed since 2015.
Would you pray for Christians living in Nigeria? Please pray they will receive peace and comfort, and that one day they’ll be able to practice their faith openly without fear of death.
Nigeria ranks as the 12th-worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2019 World Watch List.