Nigeria persecution: Eight Christians freed after abductions

Monday, April 12, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Eight Christians who were abducted by gunmen in Nigeria’s Kaduna state last month have been freed and were taken to hospital for medical evaluation, International Christian Concern reports. Nigeria currently ranks 9th on the US Open Doors Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be Christian: believers in the northern region and in the Middle Belt are vulnerable to abduction, violence, and murder at the hands of Islamic extremist groups such as militant Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram/ISIS West Africa.

The eight Christians who have been released are all evangelists and members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), ICC reports. They were abducted on March 26 as they traveled to preach the Gospel in Kafachan, southern Kaduna state. Gunmen intercepted their bus, took them into the bush, and later demanded a ransom of N50 million (around $122,000).

Announcing the release of the missionaries, General overseer of the RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, said on Twitter: “Today I got the exciting news that our brethren who were in captivity of kidnappers have all been released and taken to the hospital for check-up and tests. Glory be to Jesus. We pray for lasting peace in all troubled regions of the country in Jesus name.”

At the time of reporting it was not known whether the ransom was paid prior to the missionaries’ release. However, Kaduna state recently issued a decree prohibiting citizens from negotiating with terrorists on the government’s behalf, ICC said.

“The position of the Kaduna State Government remains the same: the Government will not negotiate with or pay ransoms to bandits,” the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan said in a statement. “Any person who claims to do so in any capacity, if found, will be prosecuted accordingly.”