by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Among nearly 4,000 Christians murdered by Islamic jihadists in Nigeria last year was Reverend Shuaibu Yohanna, who was hacked to death in September in the northeastern state of Kano, International Christian Concern (ICC) reported on Saturday. Nigeria ranked number one in the world last year for the number of Christians murdered on account of their faith.
Pastor Yohanna lived in a village populated with Muslim extremists: northern Nigeria is an Islamic stronghold, rife with militants intent on imposing Sharia law through murder, displacement, and coercion, ICC reports. Twelve northern Nigerian states have actually adopted Sharia law now: “This has led to discrimination against Christians at an unprecedented level and given extremist groups the courage to act out against minorities,” ICC said.
Pastor Yohanna was known in the area for having founded a Christian school in his village and, when a neighbor was killed by a man who was known to have recently left Islam (but was not a practicing believer), local Islamic extremists blamed Christianity, and the pastor as a leader in the faith in particular, ICC said.
The Muslims caused an uprising over the killing, and Pastor Yohanna was initially encouraged to flee the village for his own safety. However, he returned in order to evacuate his students for their protection. He was attacked by extremists with machetes and died on his way to the school, ICC said.
Pastor Yohanna’s murder is just one among many. “Hundreds, if not thousands, of pastors have been threatened, targeted, and killed by jihadists over the past decade often leaving behind grieving families without any means of income,” ICC said.
Accordingly, ICC has been delivering aid packages of food, clothing, and cash to 150 pastors, or their widows, in six of Nigeria’s northern states. “ICC will continue to seek out and serve Christians who are truly amongst the most persecuted in the world,” the organization said in a statement.
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