Fulani Herdsmen Kill 18 Christians in Nigeria

Fulani Herdsmen Kill 18 Christians in Nigeria

Eighteen Christians have been killed and others wounded in predominantly Christian villages of Plateau state, Nigeria, sources said. The deaths, at the hands of Fulani herdsmen, occurred during 11 days of attacks ending Wednesday, April 26. 

The herdsmen attacked 11 communities in Jos South, Riyom, Barkin-Ladi, Mangu and Bokkos counties.

Three Christians in Darwat village were wounded in attacks as they worked on their farms on Wednesday, April 26. The Reverend Gwong Dachollom of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) in Darwat was ambushed, shot and cut with a machete along the Darwat-Wereng Camp route at about 3 p.m. on Monday, April 24, area resident Rwang Tengwong said.

“The pastor was hacked and his motorcycle carted away by his attackers,” Tengwong said in a message to Morning Star News, adding that his injuries are life-threatening. “He’s presently receiving medical attention at Vom Christian Hospital of the COCIN.”

In Farin Lamba village of Jos South Local Government Area, Fulani terrorists killed six Christians on Tuesday, April 25And while those six were being buried, another armed attack was carried out against Christians in Gako community in Riyom LGA, where a Polytechnic graduate, Mr. Philip Bitrus, was shot dead by Fulani militias, said Dalyop Solomon Mwamtiri, an attorney with the Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria (ECCVN). 

On Sunday night, April 23, Fulani militias killed six Christians and wounded two. Five Christians were killed on Sunday, April 16, and dozens of houses burned down in attacks at about midnight.

“These attacks are another attempt to reintroduce the era of violence and crises which have been largely contained due to the government’s huge investment in security, peace building and reconciliation,” said Makut Macham of the state governor’s office. “While commiserating with those who lost their lives and properties, the governor directed the Peace Building Agency and the State Emergency Management Agency to immediately reach out to the victims with support.”

Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith in 2022, with 5,014, according to Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List (WWL) report. It also led the world in Christians abducted (4,726), sexually assaulted or harassed, forcibly married or physically or mentally abused, and it had the most homes and businesses attacked for faith-based reasons. As in the previous year, Nigeria had the second most church attacks and internally displaced people.

In the 2023 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to sixth place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 7 the previous year.

“Militants from the Fulani, Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and others conduct raids on Christian communities, killing, maiming, raping and kidnapping for ransom or sexual slavery,” the WWL report noted. “This year has also seen this violence spill over into the Christian-majority south of the nation. … Nigeria’s government continues to deny this is religious persecution, so violations of Christians’ rights are carried out with impunity.”

Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) noted in a recent report.

“They adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity,” the APPG report states.

Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.


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