"Essentially, there is little or no price to pay for the kidnapping, extortion, burning of churches, or for mayhem and murder of Christians," he said. "Even when police or military actually captures the perpetrators, the judiciary won't deal seriously with the criminal/terrorists."

 

 

Nigeria’s Christians become target of genocide as international community remains silent: advocates

Human rights advocates lament that 'genocide' against Christians is only worsening

 

By Hollie McKay, Fox News

Nov 18, 2020

 

The religious persecution of Christians in Nigeria is teetering on genocide, religious leaders and foreign policy analysts caution in a desperate bid for the international community to take urgent action.

 

The Rev. Johnnie Moore, co-author of the new book “The Next Jihad: Stop the Christian Genocide in Africa,” told Fox News that Christian communities have been decimated by terrorists in parts of Nigeria – and most of the persecution happening in the shadows.

 

“Thousands of churches have been torched, children massacred, pastors beheaded, and homes and fields set ablaze by the tens of thousands, with people being targeted for their Christian faith alone,” he said.

 

Earlier this year – just weeks before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic – Christian Solidarity International (CSI) warned of a possible genocide unfolding in the West Africa country of 206 million people. The warning underscored that “the conditions for genocide exist in Nigeria, with Christians, non-violent Muslims, and adherents of tribal religions being particularly vulnerable," and called on the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to take heed.

 

But the cry fell on deaf ears, and as the pandemic has gripped the already fragile state, the level of persecution is documented to be getting worse.

 

More than 1,200 Nigerian Christians are estimated to have been slaughtered in the first six months of 2020 and in excess of 11,000 murdered over the past five years – with scores still unaccounted for. They are being targeted from two sides.

 

International Christian Concern (ICC) points out the figures are likely far greater, with upwards of 50-70,000 Christians dead over the past decade.

 

"In the first half of 2020, there were only six days that did not have a violent incident caused by extremist groups," ICC's President Jeff King said. "At least 400 violent attacks took place, meaning that there was an average of two violent events every day throughout those months."

 

On the one hand, the terrorist group Boko Haram – which has been operating in Nigeria since 2009 and pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2015 to become its West Africa Province (ISWAP) affiliate – seeks to carve out its "Islamic State." Meanwhile, the lesser-known – but just as hostile Islamic "Fulani militants" are generally herdsmen that attack Christian rural communities scattered across the country's Middle Belt. ICC emphasizes that they use the term militants, as there are many Fulanis that are both peaceful and law-abiding.

 

Nigeria is comprised almost equally of Christians and Muslims, with Islam the preeminent faith in the nation's North and Christianity dominating the South. But it's the central pocket where the two religions collide, that experts say much of the bloodletting takes place.

 

"COVID-19 lockdowns only increased the vulnerability of Nigerian Christians," noted Dede Laugesen, executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians. "Nigeria's Christians in the North and Middle Belt live under constant threat of attack. They feel forgotten and abandoned by their own government and the world. Their homes and properties are at risk. They have no hope and the world offers them no succor."

 

The climate for Christians in Nigeria, despite the country being the most economically viable on the continent, has been pockmarked by an alarming uptick in incidences of mutilations, abductions, murders and rapes in recent years. Thousands are forced to flee in fear of their lives, leaving behind their fertile farmlands and life's work.

 

For human rights activists like Rabbi Abraham Cooper - who co-wrote "The Next Jihad" with Moore -- seeking help to little avail has become exhausting, wrapped inside a mosaic of anguish, with next to no accountability.

 

"Essentially, there is little or no price to pay for the kidnapping, extortion, burning of churches, or for mayhem and murder of Christians," he said. "Even when police or military actually captures the perpetrators, the judiciary won't deal seriously with the criminal/terrorists."

 

Stories of slaughter and systematic abuse rarely seep into news headlines beyond Nigeria's borders, but events on the ground are chilling...

 

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