Islamist militants in northeast Nigeria attacked a predominantly Christian village near Chibok, Borno state, on the morning of Sunday, November 1, killing 12 Christians and kidnapping women and children, Morning Star News has reported.
In Takulashi, less than 10 miles from Chibok, where Boko Haram terrorist kidnapped 276 Christian girls in 2014, the attackers arrived in trucks with automatic weapons and shot anyone in sight, said local resident Ishaku Musa.
‘They also burned down houses and looted food items from our houses,’ Musa told Morning Star News by text message. ‘At the end of the shootings and looting, which lasted about two hours, 12 of our people in the community were killed, three women were kidnapped and also four children were abducted by the Boko Haram attackers.’
A church pastor was among those killed. Villagers suspected the attackers were members of Boko Haram, which seeks to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria, as the group is known for attacking villages and Christian communities. The Boko Haram breakaway group, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), usually targets military installations.
The terrorists invaded the village at about 9am when church services were taking place, Musa said.
The Rev Zakariya Musa of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria said in a statement to church members that many Christians of the village were still missing.
Of the 276 girls that Boko Haram kidnapped from a high school in predominantly Christian Chibok in April 2014, 57 escaped from their captors and 107 were released after government negotiations, while 112 are still in captivity.
Two days before the attack ISWAP released a Christian pastor, Rev Polycarp Zongo, abducted in northeastern Nigeria last month, following undisclosed negotiations.
Zongo was kidnapped along with two Christian women as they travelled from his church base in Jos, Plateau state, to attend a church conference in the city of Gombe, in the state of the same name, according to his statements in a video released by ISWAP. There was no word on the fate of the abducted women.
Please pray for the release of the two Christian women and also a six-year-old boy, Isaiah Okunu, who remains captive after Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed his father and abducted him and his mother from their home in Nasarawa Town last month.
Isaiah’s mother was released five days later. The family belongs to the Evangelical Church Winning All. The herdsmen are believed to be demanding about £6,000 in ransom.
(Source: Morning Star News)
Watch a video recording of our online event with Nigerian partner Hassan John (pictured) last week. Click here to find out how Hassan and his team are helping those affected by the relentless persecution of Christians in northern Nigeria.
- Ask God to comfort all those affected by the recent killings in northern Nigeria and pray for an end to the bloodshed.
- Ask God to be close to all those who have been kidnapped and to make a way for their release.
- Pray that the International Community including the UK would put pressure on the Nigerian Government to take action against the militant groups and protect Christian communities.
Please continue to pray for Release International partner Bob Fu of China Aid. Bob (pictured) has been forced into hiding in the US after threats were made against him and his family. A Chinese Communist Party operative is believed to have urged his supporters to eliminate Bob and other well-known Chinese dissidents. The directive was made over social media channels. China Aid says Beijing wants Bob Fu silenced because he is a leading advocate for persecuted Christians in China.
Bob has now sent a letter to his accuser, demanding a full retraction to the accusations, slander and death threats made against him.
As a well-known Chinese dissident and ordained pastor, Bob has worked tirelessly to advocate for religious freedom throughout China.
(Source: China Aid)