By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
ABUJA (Worthy News) – At least 68 Christians were killed and more kidnapped or displaced by Islamist fighters over the last two months in Central Nigeria’s Benue State, a Catholic charity confirmed Wednesday.
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) said it learned from Bishop Chikpa Anagbe, of Makurdi diocese in Benue State, about government “inaction” while Islamists seek to “depopulate” Christian communities and take their lands.
“The scale of killings, displacement, and wanton destruction of property by this Fulani jihadist militia only buttresses the now revealed agenda to depopulate Christian communities in Nigeria and take over lands,” the bishop stressed.
“Tellingly, the government in power in Nigeria at the moment continues to do nothing about these persistent attacks, save to give laughable reasons like ‘climate change’ or that some Muslims are sometimes killed in attacks by so-called bandits,” he added. There was no immediate response from the government to the allegations.
There have been “persistent attacks by terrorists from the Fulani tribe,” who are primarily Muslim, against predominantly Christian farming communities in the central region of Nigeria, Anagbe noticed.
Fulani herdsmen and other groups are among those targeting Christians, Worthy News monitored.
PARISH FOR DISPLACED
ACN said it houses 80 percent of the displaced people in the state, providing food and clothing for those in camps while granting scholarships “to dozens” of displaced children.
There is also a parish in some of the settlement areas that “caters to the spiritual needs of the displaced people,” Catholics said.
The bishop hopes to purchase a mobile clinic to help respond to their health needs.
However, due to the region’s instability, the bishop said, he hasn’t been able to carry out pastoral activities in some parts of the diocese.
ACN said it would continue to support local Christians and churches. In 2021, ACN explained, it financed 105 projects in Nigeria in different fields while speaking against the persecution of Christians.
Benue State is one of several states in Nigeria where Christians face attacks. Thousands of believers have been killed for their faith in Christ in Nigeria, according to rights activists and church groups.
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