by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Islamic gunmen in Nigeria’s Kaduna state abducted 40 Christians during a Baptist church worship service on Sunday, Reuters reports.
Reverend Joseph John Hayan, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna state, said in a statement that the abductions took place at Bege Baptist Church, in Madala village, in Chikun local government area, Reuters reports. Fifteen people were able to escape their captors that night.
“We have not heard any contact for ransom or anything from [the gunmen] concerning the remaining people, and we pray that the abductors would be merciful to release the remaining 25 back to their families,” Hayan said.
In a website statement about the ongoing slaughter and violence being perpetrated against Nigerian believers, the Open Doors international Christian aid and advocacy organization explains: “Christians in Nigeria suffer persecution from an ingrained agenda of enforced Islamisation, which is particularly prevalent in the north of the country and has gradually been spreading south.”
“Attacks by Islamic militant groups have increased consistently since 2015, but the government has failed to prevent the rise in violence, which affects all Nigerians, but particularly Christians,” Open Doors says. “The violence is most pervasive in the north, where militant groups such as Boko Haram, ISWAP and Fulani militants inflict murder, physical injury, abduction and sexual violence on their victims.”
With tens of thousands of Christians murdered and abducted by Islamic jihadists since 2015, Nigeria ranks 6th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
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