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Northeastern Nigeria, an area severely affected by Boko Haram banner.jpg
Open Doors
Northeastern Nigeria, an area severely affected by Boko Haram.jpg
Open Doors
World News

World Evangelical Alliance 'appalled by ruthlessness' of Christian persecution in Nigeria

by Tola Mbakwe

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has said it is deeply concerned about violence against Christians in Nigeria and the "insufficient response" from the Nigerian government. 

The organisation, which represents 600 million evangelicals in over 130 countries, also called for perpetrators to be held to account.

Bishop Efraim Tendero, CEO of the World Evangelical Alliance said in a statement: "We are appalled at the ruthlessness of the kidnappings and attacks, but are also very concerned about the insufficient response by the Nigerian government in both preventing such crimes and holding the perpetrators to account."

He highlighted the recent execution of Rev Lawan Andimi and of 22-year old University student Mr Ropvil Daciya Dalep by Boko Haram, among other atrocities by Muslim Fulani herdsman in Plateau Statue against Christians. 

"The month of January has proven to be a bloody month as virtually no day passed by without one form of attack or another," he added.

Religious freedom charity Open Doors ranks Nigeria number 12 out of 50 countries where it costs the most to be a Christian. 

The organisation said Christians in the northern region and in the Middle Belt suffer from violence perpetrated by Islamic extremist groups such as militant Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram. 

"Such violence often results in loss of life, physical injury, as well as loss of property. As a result of the violence, Christians are also being dispossessed of their land and means of livelihood-and Christians with a Muslim background also face rejection from their own families," it added.

Bishop Efraim has urged Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to put an end to the attacks and to "decisively combat the prevailing impunity for killings, and to ensure institutional accountability".

He added: "We appeal to the government to ensure that the composition of the leadership of Nigerian security chiefs is more reflective of the ethnic and religious diversity of Nigeria. Such an effort would promote a greater sense of inclusiveness among the population, which in turn contributes to a higher degree of social cohesion."

WEA also raised the issue of the continued captivity of Nigerian Christian school girl Leah Sharibu and other hostages.

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