by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - A mother and six-month-old baby were among those kidnapped in Nigeria in raids by Muslim Fulani herders that began Jan. 6 and saw 35 casualties.
In addition to the slain, 58 people were kidnapped and held for a total ransom of $27,440 when hundreds of the Muslim pastoralists swept into Christian villages in Kaduna state. 8,000 others were displaced.
"These Muslim Fulani herdsmen will usually come with their cattle, forcefully take over our farms, and destroy crops ready for harvests,” local Pastor Habila Madama explained.
Luka Binniyat of the Southern Kaduna Peoples' Association said the raids were part of a concerted attempt by the predominantly Muslim ethnic group to appropriate the lands of Christians, who are typically farmers in Nigeria.
“We fear that with the unchecked boldness that these heinous crimes against humanity are spreading, there is a systematic plan to wipe out our communities and take over our lands,” he said.
Over 6,000 Christians have been killed in Nigeria since 2015 through the combined efforts of Boko Haram and Muslim pastoralists, the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) estimates.