There is a growing concern of a potential genocide happening in Nigeria, with five Christians being killed each day, according to NGO Intersociety.
Attacks against Christian villages have skyrocketed in the north and middle belts of the country, with churches and pastors being specifically targeted.
Nigerian pastor Rev Hassan John believes the ongoing attacks are part of an undeclared jihad against Nigerian Christians.
“You have the destruction of churches…what has the church got to do with this?” he asked. “Why would you attack a church and set it ablaze and target pastors and church leaders and kill them?”
Rev John pointed out that some of these villages have been changed from their traditional native names to Islamic names like Palestine or the land of Sharia. “So, we’re talking about an organized, systematic movement that seems to carry its radical Islamic ideology,” he said.
Heavily armed Islamic extremists have been driving out Christian villagers since 2010. However, the major difference this year is the use of sophisticated weapons by the Fulani militants.
“They now use this chemical that they use for petrol bombs. This thing burns even in the rain. Because we are in the middle of the rainy season now, when they throw it in the building, it burns right to the cement,” Rev John added.
According to the Global Terrorism Index, Fulani militants killed more than 2,000 people in 2018 alone, making them six times deadlier than Boko Haram terrorists.
Rev John urged Christians from around the world to pray for Nigeria:
“We need prayer that the Lord would enable the government to take over its responsibility of providing protection, irrespective of whatever biases there are in government, that God will raise Christians to be able to sit down and dispassionately carry out their responsibilities of the offices that they have.”
Christian persecution watchdog Release International is urging the international community to investigate the growing violence in the country