Increasing violence against Christians in Nigeria; 350 killed in first 2 months of 2020


Since the beginning of 2020, at least 350 Christians have been killed across West African countries, a Nigerian civil society organization claims.

The organisation estimates that about 11,500 Christians have been killed since 2015.

"Nigeria has fully become a killing field of defenseless Christians," the Anambra-based nongovernmental organization International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) said this week in a new special report, titled "Nigeria: A Killing Field Of Defenseless Christians."

"Available statistics have shown that between 11,500 and 12,000 Christian deaths were recorded in the past 57 months or since June 2015 when the present central government of Nigeria came on board. Out of this figure, Jihadist Fulani herdsmen accounted for 7,400 Christian deaths, Boko Haram 4,000 and the 'Highway Bandits' 150-200."

The organization, headed by Christian criminologist Emeka Umeagbalasi, has monitored violence against Christians in Nigeria since 2010 through a team of criminologists, lawyers, journalists, security, and peace and conflict studies graduates.

The incidents of violence against Christians in Nigeria has only increased over the decade, and is one rise because of extremist organizations in the northeast like Boko Haram and its splinter group.

Estimates from the United Nations show that about 2 million people have been internally displaced across Nigeria and 11 million people in need of assistance.

"While 100 percent of the victims of Jihadist Herdsmen attacks across Nigeria are Christians, the estimated 4,000 Christians killed by Boko Haram were part of the estimated 6,000 [people in total] massacred by the sect since June 2015," the report explains.

An additional 550,000 are said to be displaced in neighboring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Intersociety reports that Fulani herdsmen accounted for 250 of the 350 deaths recorded in January and February 2020 while Boko Haram and highway bandit gangs are responsible for 100 deaths.

It also noted that Boko Haram attacks targeting Christians since January 2020 intensified in Borno, Adamawa and Taraba States.

Additionally, between 100 and 150 Christian travelers were said to have been abducted on highways since the beginning of the year.