A Christian charity has warned of an emerging anti-Christian Islamist agenda as gunmen carried out a devastating attack on up to ten predominantly Christian villages in Plateau State, Nigeria over the weekend.
Partners at Release International, which supports persecuted Christians around the world, have reported that the militia killed at least 80 people and abducted 60 others during Sunday raids.
The charity is accusing the Nigerian government of 'turning a blind eye'.
Release International CEO Paul Robinson said the charity is receiving reports of attacks "on an almost daily basis".
"Many are going unreported by the world and unchecked by the federal government.
"A sense of outrage is growing among ordinary Nigerians who fear that government inaction is colluding with the terrorists.
"Nigeria has an obligation to protect its villages and safeguard their lives - whether from the forces of lawlessness and banditry, or from Islamist militias.
"That so many of the villages under attack are predominantly Christian, and so many of the attackers or either Islamist terrorists or Islamist militia, points to a religious dimension behind the violence. Increasingly, we are seeing once Christian villages being overrun by force and occupied by Islamist attackers."
Release is calling on the Nigerian government to take urgent action to protect its citizens who are being slaughtered and driven from their homes.
A Nigerian partner of Release International estimates more than 80 people were killed in Kukawa, and upwards of 60 abducted from Kyaram, Yelwa, Dadda, Gyambawu, Dungur, Wanka, Shuwaka, Gwammadaji and Dadin Kowa villages.
Partners of Release International are supporting victims of the attacks and running trauma counselling in camps for the displaced.
The charity has an appeal to help the growing numbers of Christians around the world who have been forced to flee.
Release International is active in around 30 countries. It works through partners to prayerfully, pastorally, and practically support the families of Christian martyrs, prisoners of faith and their families, as well as Christians suffering oppression and violence, and Christians forced to flee.