NIGERIA — New reports highlight the growing kidnapping crisis in Nigeria, where Christians are regarded as soft targets for abduction. Release International is calling on Nigeria to protect vulnerable Christian communities. Andrew Boyd has the details.
New reports confirm that Christians are being targeted for kidnap and ransom in Nigeria, sometimes by bandits hungry for cash, sometimes by Islamist militants determined to drive Christians off the land.
In November, kidnappers shot a pastor dead after receiving a million naira ransom payment from his church. A report by UK parliamentarians heard that almost 90 percent of Christians kidnapped around the world are taken in Nigeria. Even larger numbers are being murdered or forced to flee.
UK-based Release International describes an epidemic of kidnapping and murder which is forcing Christians from their homes in a bid to Islamise Nigeria. Fulani militants attacked Monday Ali’s home in Nija State. He returned to find a scene of devastation. He told Release International, “They killed my parents and burned their house and their bodies. They kidnapped my brothers and five sisters. They’re holding my sisters as sex slaves.”
A new report by International Christian Concern claims more than 500 Christians were killed in 55 attacks over just four months. They say Christians experience a disproportionate share of the killings and kidnappings. Nigeria has become a burial ground for believers of the Christian faith and is arguably the most dangerous place to be a Christian in the world today.
These reports confirm what Release International and others have long been saying that Nigeria has become the kidnap capital of the world and Christians are being targeted in an attempt to drive them off their lands. Reliefs International is calling for tighter security to eradicate this epidemic of abductions and to protect Nigeria’s vulnerable Christian communities.
But let Faith and Munday Ali have the last word. Although he’s lost his entire family, Monday told us, “I can forgive, but it’s very hard to forget what happened. When I read the Bible, the Word of God, I’m comforted. Please pray that my sisters are released from captivity, so I can give God the glory.”
About Release International
Release International is a Christian ministry working through local church partners in around 30 countries across the world, helping persecuted Christians prayerfully, pastorally and practically. The ministry was founded in 1968, inspired by the testimony and ministry of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. Following the demise of Communism in Eastern Europe and the increase in the persecution of Christians elsewhere in the world, the Ministry broadened its activities and changed its name to Release International.
Source: Global News Alliance, Nigeria’s Kidnapping Epidemic Targets Christians