Muslim Fulani herdsmen have attacked a Baptist church, kidnapping another pastor’s wife along with three other members and killing a fifth church member. The wives of pastors are now targets for islamic terrorists with numerous women having been killed this year.
The news comes just a week after the Islamists kidnapped six teenage girls from a Christian-run high school in north-central Nigeria. Hundreds of thousands of Nigerian Christians are currently refugees within the country. Many say the situation of Christians borders on genocide.
In the latest attack, terrorists killed Mrs. Ezra Haruna, a member of Godiya Baptist Church in Ungwan Barau village according to Morning Star News.
Four other church members, including Jummai Ido, the church pastor’s wife, were kidnapped in the attack, said Godiya Baptist Church member Joseph Umarau.
“Three others kidnapped also during the invasion are Luka Auta, Sale Auta [brothers] and Yakubu Audu,” Umaru stated.
He said the armed herdsmen stormed the community and shot indiscriminately into houses, forcing residents to flee into bushes surrounding the village.
Kaduna Gov. Nasir el-Rufai told media Oct. 4 that “bandits,” the term used by officials and Nigerian media reluctant to connect the kidnappings to their fellow tribal Fulani, are working alongside elements of Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.
“We have been receiving intelligence some three months ago that the bandits have connected with some elements of Boko Haram, and they will be targeting schools to kidnap children because they know that that is what makes the news,” El-Rufai said.
Kakau village lies in the kidnapping belt of the state and is on the route to Kwanti village, where Morning Star News last year reported the displacement of many Christians due to kidnappings by armed Fulani Herdsmen, according to area residents.
On Oct. 3 Muslim Fulani herdsmen kidnapped six Christian female students and two teachers from Engravers’ College, a Christian-run high school in Kakau village, also in Chikun County. The eight remain in captivity.
Muslim Fulani herdsmen this month kidnapped and killed a pastor’s wife in north-central Nigeria’s Kaduna state three days after suspected herdsmen killed a Baptist pastor in another part of the state, sources said.
In late September, Esther Ishaku Katung joined the list of wives having been targeted, when she was killed after being kidnapped from her church compound in Bagoma, Nigeria on Sept. 14. The family of Katung, who was the wife of the pastor, paid a 250,000 naira (US$690) ransom before discovering her body, said the Rev. Joseph Hayab, chairman of the Kaduna state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
Her husband, the Rev. Ishaku Katung of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) congregation in Bagoma, escaped but was wounded by gunfire when the herdsmen broke into their home on church premises at 11:30 p.m. as they slept, Pastor Hayab said.
Numerous pastors’ wives have been kidnapped with many killed over the last year.
Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.
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–Morning Star News