The number of fatal attacks on Christians in Nigeria is hurtling toward the point of no return.
Just weeks ago, we told you the number of Nigerian Christians murdered by Islamic radicals this year had tripled to more than 1,200. And even then, we warned you that the deadly violence wasn’t showing signs of slowing down. Unfortunately, we were right.
Just days ago, that death toll rose closer to 1,300. In what’s been called a “mass killing,” new reports are claiming that Islamic extremists just killed 33 more Christians in about 24 hours.
The city of Chicago reported 105 homicides for the month of July, and it made national news. Most of those appeared to be random, violent street crimes.
33 innocent Christians were specifically targeted and murdered in Nigeria in ONE DAY because of their faith – almost a third of that Chicago number in just 24 hours – and it should be causing international alarm.
These were not random incidents. This was a calculated attack by Islamic radicals using armored trucks and motorcycles to storm predominantly Christian villages and gun down helpless victims. The assailants then proceeded to burn down homes and buildings as well. It’s a campaign of terror against Christians that will not end until the radical extremists drive believers to conversion to Islam or extinction.
And countless more Nigerian Christians are abducted by Islamic extremists to be ransomed or used as slaves – or worse – simply murdered later. The ACLJ continues to advocate for the release of 17-year-old Christian Leah Sharibu who remains the prisoner of the vicious Islamic militia Boko Haram because she refuses to convert. We recently submitted another critical written submission to the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) urging swift intervention to free young Leah before it’s too late.
And what’s almost as shocking is that the Nigerian government continues to do little or nothing to stem the violence and bloodshed and hold the attackers accountable. Its President has promised to intervene but has shown little follow-through. Either he can’t stop the targeted persecution – or he simply won’t. Either answer is unacceptable.
We recently filed an urgent written submission to the UNHRC urging global protection for Nigeria’s Christians and pointing out that the lack of action has already allowed the violence to spread beyond Nigeria’s borders:
It is imperative that the U.N. take swift action and work with the government of Nigeria to ensure that Leah and all others who remain captured are returned home safely and to put an end to the atrocities being carried out in Nigeria by Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen. No one should have to live under the fear of being abducted, enslaved, or killed.
Action must be taken to not only stop the spread of violence within Nigeria but also the spread of violence in West Africa. Boko Haram has in fact already begun carrying out attacks in neighboring Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
No nation can turn a blind eye. The entire world should be intervening to stop this persecution of Nigerian Christians and bring those committing the atrocities to justice before the numbers take another staggering leap.
In just days, we’re making a new submission at the U.N. Human Rights Council specifically raising this issue. We must demand action before it’s too late.
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