On July 15, Father Chietnum John Mark was added to the rapidly growing list of Christian priests and pastors who have been kidnapped or murdered by jihadists and criminal gangs in Nigeria.
He and Fr. Donatus Suleiman were kidnapped in Kaduna state. Fr Donatus was lucky to escape, but Fr. Chietnum was murdered on the day he was kidnapped. His decomposing corpse was discovered four days later.
"Stop protecting the interests of the powerful in Nigeria! Don't empower them to do evil!"
Nigerian advocates for peace and religious freedom travelled to London in July to make their voices heard at the 2022 International Ministerial Conference for Freedom of Religion and Belief.
Close to 40 people were killed in attacks in June 2022 in the Kajuru Local Government Area of southern Kaduna State, writes Masara Kim. More than 60 other residents were kidnapped during the attacks, which both occurred on a Sunday morning during church service.
On June 28, CSI's Joel Veldkamp appeared on a panel with Baroness Caroline Cox and Rev. Hassan John, and spoke about the complicity of the Nigerian government in the ethnic cleansing of indigenous Christians in Nigeria's Middle Belt. He challenged the US and UK government to make their commitments to "religious liberty" serious by using their relationships with the Nigerian government to stop the killings.
Watch Veldkamp's talk, and the whole panel, here.
NOTICE: This article contains disturbing photos and graphic descriptions of violence.
On 5 June 2022, scores of people were murdered by gunmen at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo, deep in Nigeria's normally-peaceful Southwest.
Amaka Okoye visits the site of the Owo Pentecost Massacre, and speaks with victims, eyewitnesses and survivors of the attack. They recount the incident with vivid horror.
Terrorists suspected by locals to be Fulani militiamen attacked a church in Ondo State, southwestern Nigeria, on 5 June, Pentecost Sunday, killing dozens of worshippers and injuring several others, local media report.
The attack took place at St Francis Catholic Church in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State during a Pentecost Sunday worship service.
Kaduna State, located in the northwest of Nigeria and with a population of 12 million people, has seen a dramatic rise in violent incidents in the past year, including attacks by armed groups, banditry, wanton kidnappings and abductions, writes journalist Amaka Okoye who visited victims in Kaduna.
Just over a week after the brutal murder of a Christian college student in Sokoto, Muslim residents attacked Christians in Katanga, Bauchi state.
As in Deborah Samuel’s case, locals accused a female Christian health worker, Rhoda Ya’u, of blaspheming the Prophet Mohammed, following a comment she made in a government employee WhatsApp group. According to witnesses, the accusation prompted more than 200 teenagers, led by a few adults, to gather to attack Ya'u.
By Franklyne Ogbunwezeh
The persecution of Christians and the demographic displacement of minorities in the Middle Belt of Nigeria has taken on genocidal dimensions and is “a crime worse than that carried out in the town of Bucha in Ukraine”.
This was the observation of Professor Obiora Ike, a Geneva-based Nigerian human rights activist and executive director of the global ethics network Globethics.net, who is presently on a working visit to the Middle Belt of Nigeria.