The world looks different as Christians in Nigeria are “killed by jihadists for sport” – Fox News

{{#rendered}} {{/rendered}}

JOHANNESBURG – There is reportedly a never-ending massacre of Christians being “killed for sport” in Nigeria, but the world seems largely deaf to the matter.

While much of the world celebrates a beginning this week – Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ – Nigeria is mourning the end of life – the deaths of more than 100 Christians – while the world remains virtually silent.

According to Amnesty International, armed bandits ran amok in around 20 communities in central Nigeria, killing more than 140 people. In a country where accurate statistics have traditionally been difficult to obtain, some sources put the death toll at around 200.

{{#rendered}} {{/rendered}}

The Christians were killed across the board along an invisible line that separates the predominantly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south in the country's Plateau State. According to several sources, Christians make up 46% of Nigeria's population.

At least 140 people are killed and houses burned down in an attack on Christmas Eve in Nigeria

This baby was injured in Christmas Day attacks at a nursing home in Bokkos, Plateau State, Nigeria. (Portal)

“Yesterday there was another Christmas massacre of Christians in Nigeria. The world is silent. Simply incredible,” tweeted leading evangelist Rev. Johnnie Moore on X, formerly Twitter.

{{#rendered}} {{/rendered}}

According to Intersociety, a civil society group based in Onitsha, more than 52,000 Christians have been “slaughtered or hacked to death because they were Christians” in Nigeria since 2009.

“The U.S. Mission in Nigeria condemned the recent attacks in Plateau State and expressed deep condolences for the tragic loss of life,” a U.S. State Department spokesperson said in response to a question from Fox News Digital. The spokesman called for accountability, adding: “We are deeply concerned about the violence and are monitoring the situation.”

“The worst place in the world to be a Christian is in West Africa, particularly parts of Nigeria,” Rev. Johnnie Moore told Fox News Digital. Moore is a former commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, president of the Congress of Christian Leaders and co-author of “The Next Jihad.”

{{#rendered}} {{/rendered}}

“When ISIS was at its peak in Iraq and Syria in 2015, terrorists killed more Christians in a single state in Nigeria than all the people killed by the ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq combined,” Moore told Fox News Digital.

Family members gather to bury loved ones killed by armed groups in Maiyanga village in Nigeria's central Plateau state on Dec. 27, 2023. (Kim Masara/AFPTV/AFP via Getty Images)

“Not a day goes by that Christians in West Africa are not terrorized in the most grotesque ways imaginable,” he continued. “Christians are killed for sport, especially Christian children. For every massacre you hear about, there are probably ten more that took place in secret. The death toll is routinely in the hundreds.”

“Entire villages are burned down and looted. Thousands of churches were destroyed. Children and women are hunted. Countless Christians were kidnapped. I met a pastor whose two previous churches had burned down. Yet he remained in danger because he was determined to be a light in the darkness, even if it [costs] him his life, and probably will.

{{#rendered}} {{/rendered}}

Sudan genocide and famine: Biden administrator accused of 'inaction'

“There is a new, deadlier threat that can threaten both Christians and Muslims: the threat of jihadists,” Walid Phares told Fox News Digital. Phares is a political analyst who has studied jihadists in Africa and the Middle East for several decades and has written several books on the subject, most notably “The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad.”

“Indoctrinated by the Muslim Brotherhood and trained by al-Qaeda Africa, the Boko Haram from northern Nigeria are gradually becoming the country’s IS,” Phares said. “They oppress moderate Muslims and massacre Christians. Boko Haram is attacking the Christians in the plateau.” [State] area in the middle to drive them out and confiscate their land.”

{{#rendered}} {{/rendered}}

This image from an AFPTV video dated December 25, 2023 shows villagers on a car with their belongings fleeing their homes in Bokkos Local Government Area of ​​Plateau State, Nigeria. (Kim Masara/AFPTV/AFP via Getty Images)

“There is an economic factor in the conflict, but economics is omnipresent in all similar conflicts, so this cannot explain the violence in the same way that jihadist ideology explains it. The goal of the Nigerian jihadists is to drive the Christians south and then eliminate them.”

Moore added: “There have been hotspots of jihadist activity in Africa for a generation, but what we are seeing now is that these hotspots are coalescing into a fragmented Islamic state that has all the brutality that we saw in Israel on October 7th and beyond.” “Iraq and Syria 10 years ago.”

Eyewitnesses reported that at the start of the Christmas attacks it took up to twelve hours for help to arrive. Former Nigerian army chief of staff Ty Danjuma said this was because government troops were working with the attackers.

{{#rendered}} {{/rendered}}

“The armed forces are not neutral, they are collaborating with the bandits who are killing Nigerians,” he told an applauding crowd this week. “She [the army] facilitate their movements, they cover them. If you depend on the armed forces to stop the killings, you will die one by one.”

The State Department spokesman told Fox News Digital: “No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks and we cannot confirm the motivations of the perpetrators. Religious freedom is a core U.S. foreign policy priority and plays a prominent role in our continued engagement with the Nigerian government.” We continue to have concerns about religious freedom in Nigeria and will continue to work with the Nigerian government to address religious freedom issues and ensure that all human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, are protected.”

This image from AFPTV video dated December 26, 2023 shows an aerial view of destroyed houses in Maiyanga village after armed groups carried out a series of deadly attacks in Nigeria's central Plateau state. (Kim Masara/AFPTV/AFP via Getty Images)

Critics say the government should do more. Earlier this month, 29 religious freedom activists called on members of Congress to demand that the Biden administration redesignate Nigeria as a “Country of Particular Concern” in the State Department's International Religious Freedom Report, which lists the world's worst religious freedom violations contains. The Trump administration had placed Nigeria on the list in 2020, but the Biden administration removed the country from the list despite protests from human rights groups.

{{#rendered}} {{/rendered}}


The Nigerian Intersociety group recently stated that more than 34,000 moderate Muslims have also been killed in Nigeria since 2009. However, Phares said there was hope for peace but action had to be taken now.

“There are several Muslim communities that reject jihadism and strive to live together. Thereafter.” [the] Ethnic cleansing of Christians, jihadists [in Nigeria] will turn against moderate and reformist Muslims, as in Afghanistan or Iran. The US, EU and UN must create a platform for moderate Muslims and Christians in Nigeria and support civil society. Nigeria could be fixed.

{{#rendered}} {{/rendered}}

Moore called for immediate action to stop the killings: “More can be done. More needs to be done now. The handwriting isn’t just on the wall, it’s everywhere.”