Your prayers are again very much needed for the Christian families in Nigeria especially the Northern part, following another attack on Christians, this time by a group of bandits. The incident reflects the increasing and shocking impunity with which armed bandits and extremist Islamic militants are wreaking havoc across Nigeria, with Christians often amongst those targeted.
Armed bandits in Nigeria’s Kaduna State kidnapped more than 60 worshipers during a church service and shot one Christian dead, according to reports, which also say Christian workers in the area have gone into hiding.
The gunmen stormed Emmanuel Baptist Church in Kakau Daji area in southern Kaduna last Sunday, the Christian ministry Open Doors reported, adding that the telecom networks were down at the time to help combat bandit activity.
“The church was unable to call for help, whilst the bandits have reportedly asked for a higher ransom because they had to travel farther for network service to contact the victims’ relations,” the ministry said.
The government claimed that it had tightened security in that locality, but the Rev. Joseph Haya, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria and a Baptist, said he disagreed and that the threat of more attacks remains. “We are seriously worried now. Gunmen are gradually approaching the township,” he was quoted as saying.
Haya told The Epoch Times that the Baptist church “is the worst hit church in this state.”
Catholic Herald reported that the number of those kidnapped could be more than 100 and that two worshipers had been critically injured.
“This kidnapping is a shocking example of the audacity of the so-called bandits and the impunity that is escalating, seemingly without bounds in Nigeria,” said Jo Newhouse, spokesperson for Open Doors in sub-Saharan Africa. “The government is grossly failing its citizens in this matter and the continuing lawlessness is creating ideal breeding ground for extremism.”
In July, more than 140 students were abducted as they were scheduled to take their final exams at Bethel Baptist High School in the Chikun local government area in the same state.
The abductors promised the parents that their children would not starve if they provided rice, beans, palm oil, salt and stock cubes. They said a ransom demand would follow, Reuters reported at the time.
Terrorist groups with a foothold in the region, like Boko Haram, have carried out mass kidnappings in recent years, including kidnapping over 200 girls from a school in Chibok in 2014.
Dede Laugesen, the executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians, told The Christian Post in a previous interview that terrorists will often kidnap boys and brainwash them to become jihadis.
Many Nigerians have raised concerns about what they perceive as the government’s inaction in holding terrorists accountable for the rising number of attacks and kidnappings.
In an earlier interview with CP, Emeka Umeagbalai of the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, said kidnappings of Christians happen for various reasons.
Some terrorists, like Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province and radical Fulani militants are motivated by money, while others are motivated by Islamic radicalism.
Security analysts say kidnapping for ransom is becoming a lucrative industry in Nigeria. And weapons are becoming readily available to militants in Nigeria thanks to war-torn Libya.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Speaks
The Christian Association of Nigeria has said 66 worshipers were abducted by gunmen on Sunday, October 31, 2021, in Emmanuel Baptist Church, Kakau Daji, Kakau, in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The organisation said contrary to the earlier number reported, its finding showed that 66 congregants were whisked away at gunpoint and one other person was shot dead during church service.
The Vice President of CAN in the 19 Northern states and Abuja, who is also the chairman of the body in Kaduna State, Rev. John Hayab, said this in an interview with Saturday PUNCH.
“The incident happened around 10am during worship service on Sunday October 31.
“During the deadly attack, one person was killed while another person injured is receiving treatment in hospital.
“The challenge of insecurity in Kaduna has not improved and the church has always been a victim. The government in Kaduna State seems to lack the capacity to handle the situation.
“CAN is appealing to the Federal Government to act fast before the insecurity challenge in Kaduna State will plunge the whole nation into a bigger problem.”
Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA ranks Nigeria at No. 9 on its 2021 World Watch List of countries where Christians face the most severe persecution. Nigeria is also recognized as a “country of particular concern” by the U.S. State