Two Nigerian Christian girls were killed at the hands of Fulani militants in the Southern Kaduna State last week. The high school students, Briget Philip and Priscilla David, were killed when Islamist fighters ambushed the village square.
According to Faithwire, three other young men, ages 18, 19, and 12, were also injured.
“After the shooting started, the locals scattered to the surrounding woods to find safety,” said a report from International Christian Concern. “It is unclear what provoked this attack, as there have been claims that it was in reprisal for other actions. It is likely that this attack was conducted to gain supplies or force the locals off of the land to allow for the migration of herders into the area.”
This type of attack is, unfortunately, common in Nigeria from Fulani militants. At least 450 people were killed last year in attacks; two thousand were murdered in 2018.
“The Nigerian Government continues to turn a blind eye to these attacks, allowing perpetrators to walk free and continue the violence. This has allowed this crisis to rival that of the Book Haram insurgency in North-East Nigeria,” said the ICC.
Yesterday, Christian Headlines also reported news that a Nigerian pastor, Rev. Lawan Andimi, was executed after being kidnapped earlier this month.
“Don’t cry, don’t worry, but thank God for everything,” he said in a hostage video after his capture. “God’s will must be respected.”
According to Open Doors USA, a Christian persecution watchdog group, Nigeria ranks #12 of worst persecution. Recently, militants have started attacking schools and kidnapping children for ransom.
Last year, HART, a UK-based nonprofit, released a report estimating that over 1,000 Nigerian Christians had been killed by Fulani extremists, as previously reported by Christian Headlines.
“[Extremists] attack rural villages, force villagers off their lands and settle in their place—a strategy that is epitomized by the phrase: ‘your land or your blood.’”
The Jubilee Campaign, a human rights NGO, has also told the International Criminal Court that the “standard of genocide has now been reached.”
The HART report urged leaders to take a stand: “Something has to change—urgently. For the longer we tolerate these massacres, the more we embolden the perpetrators. We give them a ‘green light’ to carry on killing.”
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Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.