By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent
ABUJA (Worthy News) – Suspected Islamic gunmen attacked two churches in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna State on Sunday, killing three worshippers and abducting at least 36 people, authorities and witnesses said.
They attacked the Saint Moses Catholic Church and Maranatha Baptist Church in Rubu village, confirmed Kaduna’s Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs Samuel Aruwan.
He added that the gunmen on motorcycles “stormed” Christian communities in the state’s Kajuru local government area.
Aruwan said the shooters rushed through the area’s Ungwan Fada, Ungwan Turawa, and Ungwan Makama communities before attacking Rubu.
Reuben Buhari, a former media adviser to Kaduna’s governor, recalled that due to ongoing violence, villagers “decided to start holding church services early by 7 am so that people can hurriedly go back to their homes. It was some few minutes after 7 am today, while the Catholic and Baptist churches were holding their services when the kidnappers attacked.”
He said it was the latest in a series of attacks against Christians in the village area, where on January 5, 2022, several church worshipers were attacked and some kidnapped. And, “on April 27, 2020, the community was attacked again, and this time, some houses were burnt. Then there was the attack of today, June 18,” Buhari added in published remarks.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack, which underscored international concerns about anti-Christian violence in Nigeria.
Last year, Nigeria accounted for nearly 80 percent of Christian deaths worldwide, with more than 4,650 believers killed, according to advocacy group Open Doors.
In recent weeks more than 100 Christians were reportedly killed in Nigeria. The death toll includes a Pentecost Sunday attack on a Catholic Church that killed at least 50 worshipers in Ondo State.
A few days before the Owo incident, suspected militants reportedly killed 32 Christians in an Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) congregation in Kajuru, Kaduna State.
In Plateau State, which borders the southern part of Kaduna State, two Christian male students were recently killed by suspected Islamic militants, Nigerian media reported.
There were also other deadly attacks and kidnappings amid massive Islamic violence against Christians in several parts of Nigeria, several sources said. Nigeria’s President Awami Dio Maisamari has come under mounting pressure to improve security for Christians in the African nation.
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