Terrorists Kill Two Christians on Christmas in Nigeria

Boko Haram identified as assailants.

Boko Haram vehicles destroyed in Cameroon. (M. Kindzeka, VOA)

Boko Haram vehicles destroyed in Cameroon. (M. Kindzeka, VOA)

ABUJA, Nigeria (Christian Daily InternationalMorning Star News) – Islamic extremist terrorists rampaged through a predominantly Christian village in northeastern Nigeria on Christmas Day, setting houses on fire, looting shops and killing two Christians, area residents said.

Residents of Kwapre village, Hong County in Adamawa state, identified the assailants as of members of Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, which seeks to establish sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria.

“While Christians here in Kwapre were celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ like other Christians across the world, Boko Haram invaded our community and killed two Christians,” resident Hosea Yakubu told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News in a text message. “These terrorists attacked our community using deadly weapons like guns and machetes. Many other Christians were injured and houses destroyed during the attack.”

Kwapre community leader Simon Buba said he and others filed a report with security agencies.

“Terrorists who are members of the Boko Haram sect attacked my community on Christmas Day while were in festive mood,” Buba said in a text message. “A day that we were celebrating God’s faithfulness in our lives was turned into a day of mourning. Two Christians were killed, and many houses were destroyed.”

Resident Moses Tekwata corroborated the accounts in a text message.

“We have again witnessed the invasion of our community by Boko Haram terrorists,” Tekwata told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News. “These armed Muslim terrorists attacked our town as we were celebrating Christmas. Houses were set ablaze, shops looted, and two Christians were killed.”

Police in Adamawa state confirmed the attack and killings. Adamawa State Police Command spokesman Suleiman Nguroje said in a press statement issued in Yola that two people were killed properties destroyed on Dec. 25.

It was unclear if the attacks were launched by Boko Haram or a break-away faction that allied with the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in 2015. After Abubakar Shekau took over as leader of Boko Haram in July 2009, the group in 2015 aligned with the Islamic State. Islamic State leaders in August 2016 replaced Shekau with Abu Musab al-Barnawi as ISWAP’s leader, and a Shekau-led faction broke off into a separate group.

The faction loyal to Al-Barnawi continues to operate under the name ISWAP, while Shekau’s faction reverted to operating under the name Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad, also known as Boko Haram.

In 2015, the Global Terrorism Index ranked Boko Haram the deadliest terror group in the world.

Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith in 2022, with 5,014, according to Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List (WWL) report. It also led the world in Christians abducted (4,726), sexually assaulted or harassed, forcibly married or physically or mentally abused, and it had the most homes and businesses attacked for faith-based reasons. As in the previous year, Nigeria had the second most church attacks and internally displaced people.

In the 2023 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to sixth place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 7 the previous year.

“Militants from the Fulani, Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and others conduct raids on Christian communities, killing, maiming, raping and kidnapping for ransom or sexual slavery,” the WWL report noted. “This year has also seen this violence spill over into the Christian-majority south of the nation… Nigeria’s government continues to deny this is religious persecution, so violations of Christians’ rights are carried out with impunity.”

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