by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - The EYN Church of the Brethren, the largest Christian denomination in northeast Nigeria, has reported that over 8,370 of its members have been killed and more than 700,000 displaced by Boko Haram terrorists in the country, CSW News reports. In a statement made on July 2, EYN National President Reverend Joel Billi said that from the end of 2019 to June 2020 alone there had been fifty attacks on different communities – and that these were largely “unreported or under-reported by both the print and electronic media.”
Located in the part of Nigeria where Boko Haram operates, EYN has been the denomination most affected by attacks from this group: 217 of the 276 schoolgirls kidnapped from their school in Chibok in April 2014 are EYN members. “Only seven out of 60 District Church Councils […] were not directly affected by the insurgency,” Billi said in his statement. Moreover, Billi said, some 300 of the denomination’s 586 churches have been either burnt or destroyed, “with uncountable numbers of houses belonging to our members looted or burnt.”
Recognizing recent efforts of security forces to contain Boko Haram, Billi called on the Federal Government and the State Governments of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa to urgently rescue the remaining Chibok Girls and others abducted by terrorists. In his statement, Billi also asked President Buhari to send “at least a battalion of military to the deserted areas behind the Gwoza Hills” to help refugees return home.
Billi said the government must “live up to its constitutional responsibility” and end “the continuous killings, abductions, rape and all forms of criminality.” The government must deal with “the activities of Fulani militia, armed bandits and kidnappers terrorizing our communities,” Billi added.
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “The Boko Haram factions continue to be responsible for the most appalling violence in northeast Nigeria on an almost daily basis. However, aside from particularly appalling incidents that garner international attention, the majority of these attacks go unreported and unnoticed. Both local and international media outlets must do more to report on the violence which is unfolding across Nigeria.”