by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - As the murder of Christians in Nigeria continues unabated, on October 14 Dr. Habila Solomon, a beloved pastor and evangelist, was shot dead at his home in Taraba state by suspected Muslim Fulani militants, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. At least 3,462 Christians were murdered by Islamic militants from January to July 2021 alone; the majority of these murders were carried out by Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram terrorists.
President of a ministry called Charity and Hope based in Jauro Yinu village, Taraba state, Solomon was not only a pastor but also a doctor, ICC reports. Moreover, his ministry included sharing the Gospel in Fulani communities.
The Fulani are a primarily Muslim ethnic group concentrated in Nigeria, Mali, Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal, and Niger. They were originally a pastoral group, and many Fulani communities still make their living from their herds. While most Fulani are peaceful, there has been a sharp rise in radicalized herdsmen who have conducted a prolonged and intensifying campaign of murder, destruction of villages, and theft of land against Christians in Nigeria. Over 11,500 Christians have been killed since 2015, primarily at the hands of Fulani militants: rights groups have been warning of genocide.
“This is the second attack on [Dr. Solomon], as he was first attacked by herdsmen in his house on October 1, but God shielded him,” Nwamandze Gaius, a pastor based in northeast Nigeria told Morning Star News. “However, on October 14, the herdsmen returned and shot him in his chest, killing him instantly.”
“I believe that because some of them (Fulani) have professed Christ, some of the fanatical herdsmen must have seen Dr. Solomon as a threat to Islam, hence their decision to kill him,” Gaius added. “He was the reason why many people saw hope,” he added. “Dr. Solomon was a great missionary, as he positively impacted thousands of lives for Christ.”