The slaughter of Christian men, women, and children by Muslim Fulani herdsmen in north-central Nigeria accelerated in recent weeks to unprecedented levels, with a three-day series of assaults displacing five native missionaries and their families, the leader of a native ministry said.
The local missionaries and their families were among 1,900 families who fled their homes when heavily-armed Fulanis on motorcycles raided the predominantly Christian villages in southern Kaduna state in early August, he said.
“Once again we wish to ask you to urgently pray for our missionaries and staff,” the leader said. “The killing of Christians in southern Kaduna by the Muslim killers is unprecedented. We have lost so much again and again, and our missionaries are being pursued and lost everything.”
The missionaries lost their possessions in the attacks, he said, including five motorcycles, children’s materials and all household belongings.
Northern Kaduna state, which is ruled by sharia (Islamic law), is predominantly Hausa-Fulani Muslim, and southern Kaduna is predominantly Christian farmers of numerous ethnic groups. Elizabeth Kendal reported in the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin that in July alone, more than 120 mostly Christian villagers were shot, hacked or burned to death, often in their beds.
“Many more have been wounded,” she wrote. “Thousands of villagers have been displaced and are now being cared for in church-run camps. Despite the southern regions being under a 24-hour curfew, Fulani militants move freely, murdering, terrorizing and ethnically cleansing at will; nobody is ever arrested! Neither the government nor the security services seem willing or able to provide security.”
Fulani herdsmen armed with guns and machetes the night of July 19 attacked Kukum Daji, in southern Kaduna’s Kaura County, killing 18 and wounding 31, Morning Star News reported. Some of those killed were attending a wedding reception taking place at the time. It was one of several attacks in Kaura County that night.
In predominantly Christian Zikpak town, Jema’a County, 10 people were killed in a Muslim Fulani assault on July 24, including 5-year-old Joel Cephas and pastor Shamah Kuyet Ishaya of the Evangelical Church Winning All, according to Morning Star News.