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 International Christian Concern

Help bishop feed widows, orphans & displaced Christians in Nigeria: LifeFunder

(LifeSiteNews) — A Christmas Day attack by Islamic radicals in a Nigerian village has resulted in over 50 Christians still being held captive.

On Dec. 25, Angwan Aku Village in Kaduna, Nigeria was attacked by militant Fulani herdsmen, with one person killed and 53 others abducted and held hostage, according to a report from An eyewitness of the attack said, “The church worship service was about to commence when the attackers arrived at the village riding on motorbikes and shooting sporadically. They killed one Christian and kidnapped 53 other Christians who are still held captive.”

The report was confirmed in a Jan. 10 interview with Fr. Justine John Dyikuk, who told ACI Africa, “We got the sad news of the Christmas Day attack on Angwan village with dozens kidnapped and one person killed. As we speak now, some dozens are still in captivity while a few managed to escape back to the village.”

The priest said he thought the reasons for the attack included religious, economical, and political motivations. “Locals suspect that they were attacked because of three reasons: They are Christians comprising Catholics, evangelicals, and Baptists; because the assailants want to decapitate the region economically; and to scare the people of Southern Kaduna ahead of the 2023 general elections.”

Speaking to the problem of whether the Nigerian government could or would address the escalating problem of Islamic persecution of Christians, Dyikuk said he thought those in power lacked the political will needed to actually do so. “It is not clear if the government can solve the problem because there is lack of political will to do so. The security agencies can deal with the problem, but they have to be given command from the top,” Dyikuk said.

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On Dec. 18 and 23, Fulani herdsmen had attacked the Mallagum and Kagoro villages in Kaduna state. Recounting details of those attacks, Fr. Dyikuk said, “Eyewitness on the ground confirmed to me that on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, not fewer than 40 people were killed; many were injured, over 102 houses and harvested grains were burnt down, and many were displaced in Mallagum 1 and Sakong communities, in the Southern Kaduna area of Nigeria.”

At the time, the December attacks elicited a strong condemnation from Nigerian Bishop Yakubu Kundi of the Diocese of Kafanchan, who called it “a deliberate plan to unleash evil and to terrify our people because we do not profess the same religion or because we oppose their violent activities on our land.” The bishop called out both the Nigerian government and the United States for not doing more to end the violence against Christians in the country. Bishop Jude Arogundade of the Nigerian Diocese of Ondo also accused the Democrats in the U.S. of deliberately “look[ing] away from the killings of Christians in Nigeria.”

READ: Nigerian priest burned alive, another wounded in Sunday attack on Catholic church

News of the Christian hostages from the Christmas attack comes as a Nigerian priest was burned alive this week in an attack on a rectory at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Kafin-Koro. In response to the violence and persecution facing Christians in Nigeria, Bishop Oliver Doeme of the Diocese of Maiduguri has said the secret to defeating the Islamic hostility is for Catholics to turn to Our Lady by praying the rosary faithfully.

Help bishop feed widows, orphans & displaced Christians in Nigeria: LifeFunder