Suspected Fulani herdsmen on Thursday (March 17) kidnapped 46 Christians and a number of their children in an attack in Kaduna state, Nigeria, sources said.
The heavily armed terrorists attacked predominantly Christian Agunu Dutse village, Kachia County, in southern Kaduna state, shortly after midnight.
“The herdsmen terrorists invaded our village, Agunu Dutse, while the Christian villagers were sleeping,” area resident Rahila John Nuhu told Morning Star News in a text message. “Please be in prayer for these Christians being held captive in an unknown location at the moment.”
Agunu Dutse resident Philip John said 16 men, 30 women and an unknown number of children were abducted.
“They trooped into our village in large numbers and began shooting indiscriminately at anyone on sight,” John told Morning Star News by text message.
Village resident Luke Godwin Waziri said the attack lasted two hours and identified those kidnapped as Danjuma Yusuf; Judith Obadiah; Theresa Amos; Alheri Amos; Afiniki Rabo; Adamu Lawrence; Alkali Inusa; Peace Stephen; Bobo Stephen; Baby Stephen; Janet Anthony; Patience Philip; Precious Philip; Eunice Mathew; Godiya Ishaya; Stephen Magaji; Joseph Stephen; Celestine Everest; Joshua Adamu; Roseline Joshua; Moses Adamu; Joel Moses; Anita Moses; Josephine Solomon; Luka Livinus; Amanta Luka; Israel Linus; Joshua Audu; Supreme Michael; Michael Yunana; Rose Michael; Martins Vincent; Lauretta Yunana; Naomi Zachariah; Comfort Everest; Lilian Everest; Patience Titus; Samaniya Linus; Caroline Linus; John Luka; Shedrack Luka; Benjamin David; Louis David; Alkali; Timothy; and Isaiah Luka.
“Please pray along with us, most especially at this trying moment,” Waziri said.
Nigeria led the world in the number of kidnapped Christians last year (Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021), at more than 2,500, up from 990 the previous year, according to Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List report. Nigeria was also highest in Christians killed for their faith at 4,650, up from 3,530 the previous year, according to the WWL report.
Nigeria trailed only China in the number of churches attacked, with 470 cases, according to the report.
In the 2022 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to seventh place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 9 the previous year.