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From mid-2009 to the present, more than 60,000 Christians have been killed or disappeared by Islamic fundamentalist insurgents in Nigeria. I estimate that about 20,000 Christian churches and schools have been burned since that year. The initial insurgency of the terrorist organization Boko Haram has been joined in recent years by that of Muslim Fulani herdsmen radicalized by jihadist ideology.
In its August 4 report, Nigerian NGO International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, also known as Intersociety, explained that:
“The total number of Christian deaths (…)from July 2009 to July 2021 (…) is not fewer than 43,000 (…) The killings had emanated from the propagation of radical Islamism in Nigeria (…) most of the Muslims abducted by Jihadists in Nigeria are later released (…) Christians are killed in captivity or forcefully converted to Islam (…) Atrocities (…) majorly directed at Christians (…) include: massacres, killings, mutilations, slitting of throats and wombs, beheadings, torture, maiming, abductions, hostage-taking, rape, girl-child defilements, forced marriages, disappearances, extortions, forceful conversions burning of homes and sacred worship and learning centers as well as forceful occupation of farmlands, destruction of farm crops…”
During the first seven months of 2021, the number of churches attacked or burned down has risen to over 30 million. In the last 12 years, no less than 30 million Christians in Northern Nigeria were threatened and ten million of them have been uprooted.
In the first weeks of August, Fulani terrorists killed 70 Christians in Kaduna State, displaced around 30 thousand, burned 500 Christian homes, and destroyed crops in about one thousand Christian farms. At the end of that month, another 36 Christians were reportedly killed by Fulani terrorists in Kaduna. Anglican Bishop Jacob Kwashi remarked during the funeral of these victims that:
“The government is fully in support of the bloodshed in Nigeria. We are being killed just because we are not Muslim. These evil Fulani jihadists enjoy government support for killing people, destroying their houses and farmland, but when we try to defend ourselves, the government will arrest our people. What kind of justice is this?”
On the night of August 24, in Jos North Plateau, Fulani jihadists attacked a predominantly Christian village, going house to house and murdering 37 Christians. Shortly before, Fulani terrorists had razed down four predominantly Christian villages, burned hundreds of homes, and destroyed the crops of the farms. Jonathan Asake a local Nigerian politician said:
“There is an ongoing genocide targeted at Christians in Southern Kaduna (…) for the last six years, the mass graves standing as a testimony of what we are saying. (…) Not a single attacker has been apprehended (…) while the Kaduna State Government and the Federal Government is playing blind to it (…) the western media do not believe that a genocide of Nigerian Christians is worth any news.”
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari downplayed the killings, claiming that majority of them had nothing to do with religions. According to Buhari, the bloodshed is due to disputes over land and due to poverty and inequality.
When Western media does report on Nigeria, they dismiss the Christians’ genocide as an ethnic, and not religious conflict. Anyone informing about the genocide of Christian Nigerians by Islamic fundamentalists risks being cancelled by woke crowds under “charges” for “islamophobia”
Already in 2018, the Middle East expert Raymond Ibrahim, concluded that:
“The Nigerian government and the international community (…), have done very little from the beginning to tackle the situation (…) they cannot even recognize its roots, specifically, the intolerant ideology of jihad. Consequently, the number of dead Christians has only increased, and will surely continue to grow exponentially, until this reality is not only recognized, but also addressed.”
And, in fact, the Nigerian Christians’ genocide has continued “growing exponentially” while the world keeps turning a blind eye to it.
Guillermo Rodríguez is a professor of Political Economy in the extension area of the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences at Universidad Monteávila, in Caracas. A researcher at the Juan de Mariana Center and author of several books // Guillermo es profesor de Economía Política en el área de extensión de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas de la Universidad Monteávila, en Caracas, investigador en el Centro Juan de Mariana y autor de varios libros