by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Amid Nigeria’s intensifying extremist violence against Christians, Islamic militants carried out yet another atrocity on October 31, murdering a congregant and abducting over 100 others from a church in Kaduna state, the Catholic Herald reports. Islamists have murdered over 15,000 Christians in Nigeria since 2015: rights groups are warning of genocide.
The church in Kaduna was reportedly unable to call for help due to a shutdown in state telecom services on the day of the attack, the Catholic Herald said. Moreover, the terrorists demanded a higher ransom to compensate for having to travel to contact the abductees’ family members.
The ongoing vulnerability of Christians to attacks by Islamic terrorists is compounded by government failure to deal with Nigeria’s security crisis. Reverend Joseph Haya, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria told the Catholic Herald: “We are seriously worried now,” he said. “Gunmen are gradually approaching the township.”
“This kidnapping is a shocking example of the audacity of the so-called bandits and the impunity that is escalating, seemingly without bounds in Nigeria,” Jo Newhouse, spokesperson for rights group Open Doors in sub-Saharan Africa, said in a statement.
“The government is grossly failing its citizens in this matter and the continuing lawlessness is creating an ideal breeding ground for extremism. We call on the international Body of Christ to remain in fervent prayer for the release of the church members, and pray that the Lord will use this situation to bring a breakthrough in this situation,” Newhouse said.