Birds in the sky in Kaduna

Evening sky in Kaduna, Nigeria.


Rev. John Joseph Hayab, a Baptist pastor and president of the Kaduna State branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria, the biggest ecumenical group in Nigeria, said the call was made after the 28 March attack.

The latest attack adds to persistent and increasing attacks on Christians from Islamist organizations or other groups working with them. Poor security has triggered mass internal displacement in Nigeria's north, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee the country.

Groups such as Boko Haram, Fulani herders, and Islamic State West Africa Province operate in different parts of the northern region and often target minority Christians in the north, according to numerous reports.

According to a local priest, Boko Haram militants conduct nighttime raids on villages in neighbouring Cameroon and kill all the men.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation, and of its population of some 225 million, just around 50 percent are believed to be Muslims, mostly living in the north, and the majority of the other half are Christians, who tend to live in the southern parts.

Internally displaced

The UN Refugee Agency says almost 2.2 million people from Nigeria's northeast are internally displaced and more than 983,700 in the northwest, while more than 330,000 Nigerians are refugees in Cameroon.

The UN said that 93 percent of those who fled the northeast did so due to insurgency, six percent due to communal clashes, and one percent displaced by natural disasters.

Release International, a group that works for persecuted Christians, reported on 25 March an earlier attack by Islamist militants that left more than 30 people dead, citing an earlier statement from the Christian Association of Nigeria.

The Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria said then that Christians were grieving "the continued killings, kidnappings, banditry and the unimaginable evil going on in our state unabated, without any substantial action by the government and security forces."

Kidnapping for ransom has increased, with three priests taken in March. Terrorists killed at least 536 Nigerians in the first three months of 2022, with many of the attacks taking place in the country's north.

"The violence against Christians in Nigeria has intensified in recent months. In spite of this, the Nigeria faithful remain steadfast in faith and need our prayers and compassion," said Aid to the Church in Need.

Nigeria's Morning Star News reported that Fulani herders killed around 50 believers in attacks on ten predominantly Christian communities in Giwa county, Kaduna, on 24 March.

Rev. Felix Zakari, a Roman Catholic priest, was among around 100 people taken captive. Locals reported that a church building, houses, and stores had been burned down and animals killed.

Resident Nuhu Musa told Morning Star News by text message: "They didn't allow even the dead bodies to be buried, as they shot at mourners and those who returned to the villages to conduct funerals for those killed."

WCC member churches in Nigeria