NIGERIA — As violence escalates in Nigeria, there are warnings of a humanitarian crisis in the making. Partners of UK-based Release International, which serves persecuted Christians worldwide, warn if the new government doesn’t stop the violence, Christians will leave the country in droves.
According to reports more Christians are killed for their faith each year in Nigeria than in the rest of the world put together, as Andrew Boyd reports.
Fulani militants have been sweeping northern states, firing assault rifles and burning homes. Including Blessings. We’ve changed her name to protect her.
The Fulani Militants came and began attacking our community and chasing people from their homes. They were going to our homes and destroying them and setting them ablaze.
She said Nigerian soldiers stationed nearby did nothing at all to help the villagers. Others said the same.
Pastor John, we changed his name too, was at a prayer meeting when they heard gunshots.
The military barracks is next to the town, but when the villagers called on the soldiers to help, Pastor John says they did nothing.
The military, we told them, we called on them. We were calling on them to come and help us with the police. What they told us clearly that their hands were tight, that they would not be able to do anything because they were not giving command from the government. In fact, they were killing some people in front of the military, but they were not doing anything.
Pastor John and the others believe the attack was religiously motivated.
When they were shooting, what we heard from them is “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. We heard them clearly. So we knew, actually, this is Islamic jihad coming to attack us.
Archbishop Ben Kwashi – Nigeria Partner:
I must say that this is happening under the nose of a federal government.
I’ve done far more funerals in the last 20 years than I have done naming ceremonies or weddings put together. I’m a grieving pastor.
It’s election time in Nigeria. Archbishop Kwashi says unless the new president stops the killings, Nigeria will face a refugee crisis that will impact the world.
Archbishop Ben Kwashi:
Christians are going to run out of this country. They’re going to live in droves. They will not wait for the persecution. That will happen.
Release International has named Nigeria as a key country of concern. It calls for prayer and support for the suffering church in that nation. Release International partners are providing trauma counselling for victims of violence.
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, Warnings of Humanitarian Crisis in Nigeria