Church leaders in Nigeria held a day of mourning Sunday over the growing number of attacks on Christians in the country, Premier reports.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said armed Fulani herdsmen are carrying out widespread attacks in Christian villages and authorities are “turning a blind eye” to the violence.

Anglican Archbishop of Jos, the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Kwashi said believers are angry and feel as if no one is protecting them.

In a statement, CAN President Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle said, “The church in Nigeria since 2009 has been subjected to a systemic genocide and persecution [by] Islamic fundamentalists…leading to the killing of thousands of Christians and destruction of hundreds of churches, and over 50,000 houses.”

Release International, an organization that helps persecuted Christians around the world, supported Nigeria’s day of mourning. Chief Executive Paul Robinson said, “Christians in the north are facing the twin terrors of Boko Haram and this largely unreported widespread menace of heavily-armed Fulani. Both groups are bent on killing Christians and cleansing the north of its Christian minority.”

“The church in Nigeria, since 2009, has been subjected to a systemic genocide and persecution [by] Islamic fundamentalists…leading to the killing of thousands of Christians and destruction of hundreds of churches…”

Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacks on Christians in Nigeria has escalated last year. The group used sophisticated weapons and explosives, and executed organized and well-funded attacks. Fulani herdsmen are suspected to have links with Islamic extremist group Boko Haram which has targeted Christians since 2009, Pakistan Christian Post said.

According to Fox News, the Fulani herdsmen killed more than 800 Christians and moderate Muslims. The terrorists also destroyed at least 16 churches in the last quarter of 2016.

“Fifty-three villages burned down, 808 people murdered and 57 wounded, 1,422 houses and 16 churches destroyed,” Bishop Joseph Bagobiri of the Diocese of Kafanchan said.

Anglican Archbishop of Jos, the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Kwashi said believers are angry and feel as if no one is protecting them. He warned that if Christian genocide is not stopped soon, there could be a civil war between Christians and Muslims if Christians seek revenge.

Sources:
Premier. (2017). Premier. http://www.premier.org.uk/News/World/Day-of-mourning-called-for-over-growing-attacks-on-Nigeria-s-Christians

Foxnewscom. (2017). Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/01/04/hundreds-christians-muslims-killed-in-recent-islamic-terror-spree-in-nigeria.html

Pakistanchristianpostcom. (2017). Pakistanchristianpostcom. http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/detail.php?reportid=97

Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest in reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at Joyce@1cvm.com.