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Nigeria: 12 killed in Easter Sunday attack

21 April 2017

At least 12 Christians were killed on Easter Sunday in an attack on Christian farmers in the south of Kaduna State, according to Open Doors field contacts.

In response, the government has launched a month-long military operation in the area. Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai condemned the attack and promised increased security. "The operation is aimed at addressing the issue of insecurity in southern Kaduna state and parts of Kano, Plateau and Bauchi states," said the military in a statement. The army will also offer humanitarian aid to the region including medical support, it said.

An Open Doors contact says, "Christians will be receiving the news of the operation with mixed feelings as they have accused the government of not doing enough to protect them against the Fulani, and said in some cases security agents simply watched the attackers wreak havoc without any intervention.

"Please pray that this move by the government will bring much needed peace to the affected Christian communities. Pray that soldiers will take their responsibility to protect all civilians seriously."

Stand with your church family in Nigeria

Nigeria is number 12 on the 2017 Open Doors World Watch List. Christians are in the minority in northern Nigeria, and have faced violent persecution at the hands of Islamic fundamentalist groups Boko Haram and Hausa-Fulani herdsmen. Christians have also faced discrimination for years in the 12 northern states where Sharia (Islamic law) has been implemented; they are frequently denied access to community resources, such as clean water, health clinics and higher education.

Open Doors partners with the local church in Nigeria to provide emergency food aid, training, scholarships for children, community development projects, legal assistance and trauma counselling.

Stand with your church family in Nigeria:

Please pray:

  • For comfort, healing and provision for those affected by Sunday's attack
  • For protection for Christians in northern Nigeria
  • That this military operation will bring peace to Kaduna state and the surrounding region
  • That military personnel on the ground will take their responsibility to protect all civilians seriously.

More News from Nigeria:

Find out more about persecution in Nigeria.