A brutal attack by Fulani militants has resulted in the death of 14 Christians in Kogi state, Nigeria. The Islamic herdsmen, who have become increasingly hostile towards followers of Jesus in recent years, murdered 14 believers in a 2am attack on members of the Bethel Baptist Church in Agbadu-Daruwana.
According to Morning Star News, some 13 people from the same family perished in the assault. "In that family, it is only one person that survived," said Kogi State Command Commissioner of Police Ede Ayuba.
The All Africa Baptist Fellowship said of the victims:
“They have since been buried.
"All the community members, mainly Christians, have all fled. Please pray for God’s intervention against antichrist in the land.”
Local resident Rachael Nuhu told the outlet that the herdsmen "invaded the village armed with guns and riding motorcycles".
“They were speaking in the Fulani language as they attacked our people," she added. "This is not the first time they’re attacking our communities, as other villages around us had been attacked in a similar way by these herdsmen.”
In a conversation hosted by former Congressman Frank Wolf back in June, Nigerian Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Argak Kwashi warned that the attacks on the Christian community were "systematic".
"It is planned; it is calculated,” he added.
The Nigerian government has continued to deny that Christians are being specifically targeted for persecution, despite other advocacy groups claiming that believers are facing a genocide.
“Every time we have raised our voices to say to the governments that this is going on, [the government] always produced a political narrative to say that it is farmers’ and herders’ clashes," Archbishop Kwashi added. "That narrative is an evil narrative of cover-up because honest people will be sleeping in their homes at night that will be massacred, but it will be said to be a clash. That is far from the truth. These killings are specifically in Christian villages.”
On the same call, Dr Gregory H. Stanton, the chairman of Genocide Watch, insisted that the attacks met the threshold for the definition of genocide.
“It is the intentional destruction in whole or in part of a religious group," he said. “This is not a conflict. These Christian villagers – these farmers – have no conflict with the Fulani. The Fulani now arrive with truckloads of fighters, maybe a hundred of their fighters, and they simply massacre a Christian village. They leave the Muslim village nearby completely alone.
“Denial is part of every genocide; it starts at the beginning of it and usually goes on way after it."