Nigeria: Terror attacks shut down 70 churches

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Terrorists in Nigeria who are targeting and burning churches have forced one leading denomination to shut down 70 of its congregations in Plateau State. 

Continuing attacks in Mangu and Bokkos counties have forced 70 churches to close and are preventing evangelistic outreach in northeastern Nigeria, according to the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN). 

‘Burned down’

‘All our worship church buildings in these communities were burned down by terrorists,’ the president of COCIN, Rev Amos Mohzo, told Morning Star News.

He added, ‘Christians are still living in camps outside their communities. Most of the farmers are unable to go to their farms.

‘Evangelization has been impeded in this part of the country. How can we deliberately jeopardise and danger the lives of those called to ministry, when we know that they’ll become targets of terrorist attacks?’

Attacks by heavily armed Fulani militants killed 238 people over Christmas of 2023. Those attacks by Fulani, Boko Haram and bandits have continued unabated.

30,000 killed

Partners of UK-based Release International, which supports persecuted Christians worldwide, say more than 30,000 Nigerians have been killed by Boko Haram terrorists and Fulani militants since the troubles began in 2001.

And according to Nigerian NGO Intersociety, jihadis have destroyed 18,000 churches since 2009.

Release International (RI) highlighted Nigeria as a country where violence against Christians is rising in its 2024 Persecution Trends report.

Acting on intelligence, RI’s partners are sending out warnings of pending attacks to local communities via text messages. They’re also providing vital assistance in the form of trauma counselling for the victims.


They believe the attacks are part of a concerted plan to provoke religious conflict across several states. They add: ‘This is an Islamic jihad. Nigerian soldiers should be protecting the people from these attacks.’

There is a long history of attacks by Islamists to cleanse the north of its Christian minority, dating back to the Fulani jihads of the 18th and 19th centuries.

In the 21st century, the charge to Islamise Nigeria has been led by terrorist groups Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province. And growing numbers of radicalised Fulani are serving that same agenda.

RI partners say more Christians are now being killed by Fulani militants than any other terror group.

‘Protect Christians’

Paul Robinson

‘Release International continues to urge the government of Nigeria and its security forces to protect Christian communities from attack,’ says Release International CEO Paul Robinson.

‘Nigeria has long been a country of particular concern. We watch with horror as Christian villagers are slaughtered and driven from their lands, which are then occupied by Islamist extremists. And yet Nigeria – and the world – continue to let this happen.’

Release International is active in some 30 countries. It works through partners to prayerfully, pastorally, and practically support the families of Christian martyrs, prisoners of faith and their families. It also supports Christians suffering oppression and violence, and those forced to flee.

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