24 June 2022

More than 30 Christians killed in ongoing church attacks in Nigeria

More Christians in Nigeria have been attacked, many of them as they worshipped in church. Please continue to pray for God’s protection and healing for our brothers and sisters. 

More and more Christians are being attacked as they worship in church (image is illustrative)

Last Sunday (19 June), gunmen attacked Maranatha Baptist and St Moses Catholic churches, killing at least three people and abducting more than 30 churchgoers. 

Both churches are based in the Kajuru Local Government Area (LGA), Kaduna State – a region severely affected by the Fulani militant violence. 

The attackers entered several villages on motorcycles, shooting indiscriminately, including the village of Rubu where the churches are located. At St Moses Catholic Church, worshippers were finishing their first service when the gunmen began shooting. 

Mr. Samuel Aruwan, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, confirmed the attack: “Security agencies have reported to the Kaduna State government that bandits attacked worshippers and locals at Ungwan Fada, Ungwan Turawa and Ungwan Makama in Rubu general area of Kajuru LGA. Three locals have been confirmed killed in the attacks, and two persons were left injured – one of them a man and a yet-to-be-identified woman. The bandits looted shops and carted away valuables from the villages.” 

Field sources in Kaduna State also confirmed the abduction of more than 30 churchgoers from the two Sunday services. 

Attacks continuing unabated  

Earlier this month, on Sunday 5 June (Pentecost), gunmen attacked two more churches and villages in a now almost distinctive method. They burned down the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) buildings in Unguwan Maikori and Dogon Noma and killed at least 32 residents. 

The assault caused more distress than usual because of a helicopter present during the attack. Many residents at the time thought the gunmen were aided by the aircraft. However, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs clarified that ‘an Air Force helicopter (under Operation Whirl Punch) dispatched to the area, had earlier scanned the first two locations and sighted burnt houses and properties on fire. The helicopter intercepted the bandits at the last location (Ungwan Maikori) and engaged them as they retreated, before the arrival of ground troops to the general area’. 

But many of the affected villagers are unsatisfied with Aruwan’s explanation and remain sceptical of the aircraft’s presence during the attack; Open Doors are investigating the incident.  

  • That God will comfort and heal all those who have been injured, traumatised or bereaved during the attacks
  • That Christians will not be discouraged in their faith, and will draw closer to Jesus
  • For an end to the spread of violence against Christians across Nigeria.
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