In America, we are so lucky to be able to freely and openly worship the Lord Jesus Christ without, for the most part, having to fear violent persecution.
However, all across the world we are seeing daily violence against Christians at alarming rates. According to Open Doors, an organization that aids Christians in persecution around the world, there are currently a monthly average of:
- 345 Christians being killed for faith-related reasons
- 105 churches and Christian buildings being burned or attacked
- 219 Christians being detained without trial, arrested, sentenced, and imprisoned
That equals about 11 Christians per day being murdered simply for their faith in Jesus Christ.
Sunday, April 14th, over a dozen Christians were gunned down mercilessly by Muslim Fulani militants after an infant dedication ceremony in the Nigerian state of Nasarawa. Morning Star News reported that the attack occurred on Palm Sunday at a gathering of local area Christians to celebrate the baby dedication.
Fulani militants took the party by storm and opened fire murdering 17, including the baby’s mother, as well as children as young as 10 years old. The baby’s father has survived but was in critical condition from gunshot wounds.
Chairman of the Akwanga Local Government Council to the Morning Star “They just started shooting sporadically on a community that was just having a feast of the dedication of a child after a church service earlier in the day on Sunday (April 14) at a Baptist church in the area.” He then added, “The killings occurred in the evening of that day. Unfortunately, these persons were killed in cold blood for just no reason.”
This isn’t exactly an accurate statement. They were killed for a reason, a very specific reason: their belief in our risen Savior the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not “just no reason” and this is the kind of mentality that allows for the continual persecution against Christians.
The Fulani herdsmen are an ethnic group representing over 20 million people in West and Central Africa. They are Muslim. Though they have clashed with Christians and other indigenous people for centuries they are primarily not a violent people. Only a small sect are extremists who participate in violent attacks, according to the Global Terror Index.
Open Doors also points out that over the last few years, attacks by the Fulani against Christians have intensified. The organization also says that the Nigerian government has been ineffective at protecting Christians, especially women and children, from these kind of attacks.
Nigeria is ranked as the 12th worst country in the world for Christians according to Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List.
Despite the fact that persecution against Christians is on the rise all around the world Christianity itself is seeing a boost. Christianity is seeing large numbers of converts all around the world in spite of increasing violence and hostility, and this is exciting news! You can read more about that here.
Americans are sheltered from the conflicts of global religious violence (something to be thankful for). As a result, we have Christians sitting idly by while our communities are taken over by those who stand opposed to God. We, as Christians, need to stand up and speak out for righteousness while we still have the freedom and safety to do so.
You can read more about this and other attacks in Nigeria here.
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