A civil society organization estimates that over 3,400 Christians have been killed by terrorists/bandits since January.
The Anambra-based International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) in a report released this week estimate that at least 3,462 Christians have been killed in just 200 days, while at least 3,000 Christians have been abducted. The report also estimates that no fewer than 300 Churches and 10 priests have been attacked.
The report comes as global human rights activists continue to raise the alarm about the troubling trend of deadly attacks carried out on communities in the farming-rich Middle Belt of Nigeria by radicalized herders and the country’s northeast by Boko Haram.
Intersociety, an organization headed by Christian criminologist Emeka Umeagbalasi, relies on what it deems to be credible local and foreign media reports, government accounts, reports from international rights groups and eyewitness accounts to compile statistical data.
Due to the lack of adequate government record keeping, death tolls reported by media outlets or government are estimates and often are skewed.
Intersociety estimates that Benue state has the highest number of recorded Christian deaths this year, with 450 recorded deaths. Kaduna state was second with 410 Christian deaths, the group noted.
Jihadi attacks in West Africa have been on the rise since the beginning of 2021, and Nigeria is targeted more than any country in the region, the United States-based Chrisitan persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern reports.
The Global Terrorism Index ranks Nigeria as the third country most affected by terrorism in the world. It reports that from 2001 to 2019, over 22,000 were killed by acts of terror.
In December, Nigeria became the first democratic nation to be added to the U.S. State Department’s list of “countries of particular concern” under the International Religious Fredom Act.