Muslim Herders Take Christians Hostage and Force Churches to Pay Huge Sums for Their Release, Says Nigerian Pastor
by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Three Christians have been kidnapped and held for ransom in Kaduna State, Nigeria, since the beginning of August, exposing a tactic employed by Muslim Fulani Herdsmen many say are carrying out genocide against the country’s Christians.
In early August, pastor Jeremiah Omolewa of Living Faith Church was attacked in his car on the way home from church and killed, while his wife was kidnapped and held for a ransom of $27,000 that was eventually worked down to $8,000 by members of their church, who paid the sum in full.
“We as the church, the body of Christ, have found ourselves in a very bad situation in Kaduna state,” the Rev. Joseph Hayap, chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), told Morning Star News. “Pastors and church members are being kidnapped, and huge sums of money are being demanded, and nothing has been done by Nigeria government to halt the situation.”
Hayap related that he and other Christian leaders are currently negotiating with kidnappers who are demanding $19,000 for pastor Elisha Noma, 60, who was kidnapped on August 14th, and that the daughter of a local Baptist pastor is also currently being held for ransom by the Fulani.
According to Hayap, 500 abductions of this sort have occurred over the last 4 years, with Christians used as bargaining chips by the predominantly Muslim pastoralist group, and have caused local Christian churches to put down almost a million dollars to secure the release of the prisoners.