August 9, 2014

​Slaughter of Nigerian Christians Rises Sharply

BY STAFF ©2014 Baptist Press

Haram extremists and others have killed nearly as many Nigerian Christians in
the first seven months of this year as were killed in all of 2013, the advocacy
group Jubilee Campaign reported on July 29.

Approximately 1,505 Nigerian Christians have been killed for their faith to
date this year, compared to 1,783 Nigerian Christians killed in all of last
year, based on Jubilee's tally of deaths on its blog,
a compilation of reports from various news sources.

The 2014 total to date is nearly 85 percent of those killed in all of last

In attacks targeting religious communities, Boko Haram and others also killed
Muslims, government officials, and other civilians in Northern Nigeria, for a
total of 4,239 deaths to date this year, compared to 3,124 deaths in all of
2013, Jubilee reported.

Christians killed to date include seven fathers of the 223 Chibok school girls
still missing after Boko Haram kidnapped more than 300 students in mid-April.
The men were killed July 20 when Boko Haram attacked Damboa, just 52 miles from
the Borno state capital of Maiduguri, and hoisted a Boko Haram flag there, the
Associated Press reported.

Boko Haram and others have killed at least 52 Muslims this year, compared to 66
in all of 2013, Jubilee reported. Based on an interview with Emmanuel Ogebe,
manager of Jubilee Campaign's Justice for Jos Project, Morning Star News
reported a trend this year of Boko Haram targeting some Muslims primarily
because they cooperate with the Nigerian military.

"The pattern therefore is that if you do not do what they demand, even if
you are Muslim, you become an 'apostate' deserving of death," Ogebe said.
"Therefore the difference between Boko Haram's approach to Christian
'infidels' and Muslim apostates is you are killed as a Christian 'just because'
your name is Christian -- you go to church, etc. – whereas Muslims are
generally killed 'for cause,' for example working for the government or
refusing to pay extortion taxes to Boko Haram."

In terms of the number of faith communities attacked, 75 Christian communities
were assaulted in the first six months of this year, compared to eight attacks
on Muslim communities, the group reported. Christian communities were defined
as churches, pastors, predominantly Christian enclaves, and other explicitly
Christian targets. Muslim communities were defined as imams or explicitly
Muslim targets, though Jubilee noted Boko Haram itself insists that it does not
target mosques. 

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