There are reports of Christians "killed for sport by jihadists" in Nigeria on a never-ending carnage, yet the world seems mainly oblivious to the issue.
This week, while most of the world has been celebrating a beginning - Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ - in Nigeria, people are lamenting the end of life of more than 100 Christians who have died and the rest of the world has been largely silent.
According to Amnesty International, armed bandits killed around 140 people when they ran wild in about 20 towns in central Nigeria. Some reports have estimated that the death toll is closer to 200, in a nation where precise numbers are typically difficult to get.
Reports of an ongoing onslaught against Christians in Nigeria, described as a "never-ending massacre" and perpetrated by armed bandits, have sparked international concern. Over the Christmas week, more than 100 Christians lost their lives in more than 20 communities across central Nigeria, according to Amnesty International. The international community has been notably silent on the matter, prompting criticism and calls for urgent action.
Amidst the global Christmas celebrations, Nigeria mourns the loss of over 140 lives, with some sources indicating a death toll nearing 200. The attacks occurred in Plateau State, where an invisible line divides the predominantly Muslim north and largely Christian south, with Christians making up 46% of Nigeria's population.
Leading evangelist Rev. Johnnie Moore expressed disbelief at the global silence, stating:
There was yet another Christmas massacre of Christians in Nigeria yesterday. The world is silent. Just unbelievable.
Disturbingly, these attacks are not isolated incidents. Intersociety, a civil society group, reports that more than 52,000 Christians have been killed for their faith in Nigeria since 2009. Rev. Johnnie Moore emphasized the severity, comparing the situation to the height of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The U.S. Mission in Nigeria condemned the recent attacks in Plateau State and expressed heartfelt condolences for the tragic loss of life. We are deeply concerned by the violence, and we are monitoring the situation.- U.S. State Department
Political analyst Walid Phares shed light on the evolving threat, noting the rise of jihadists in Nigeria. Boko Haram, influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood and trained by al Qaeda Africa, is reportedly becoming Nigeria's ISIS, targeting Christians in the Plateau State area.
Eyewitnesses revealed a delayed response to the Christmas attacks, taking up to 12 hours for help to arrive. Former Nigerian chief of army staff, Ty Danjuma, accused government troops of collaborating with the attackers, alleging collusion and facilitation.
While the U.S. Mission in Nigeria condemned the recent attacks and expressed condolences, critics argue that more action is needed. Calls for Nigeria to be designated as a Country of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 have been made by experts, including former federal legislators.
The situation in Nigeria continues to raise alarms, with pleas for international intervention to address religious freedom concerns and prevent further loss of life.
The escalating violence against Christians in Nigeria demands immediate international attention and action. As the world remains largely silent on the reported "never-ending massacre," urgent calls for accountability, designation as a Country of Particular Concern, and increased support for civil society echo across global corridors.
The gravity of the situation, with comparisons to past jihadist atrocities, underscores the pressing need for a coordinated response to address religious freedom violations and protect vulnerable communities. The coming days are critical, requiring not just condemnation but tangible efforts to prevent further bloodshed and foster coexistence in the troubled regions of Nigeria.