Pastor Wounded, 18 Killed in Latest Persecution Wave


April was a horrifying month for many Christians around the world as they experienced terror and death in the face of brutal persecution.

Persecution can take many forms and looks different all around the world. From being arrested and jailed for attending a house-church to having businesses shut down or targeted by violence, Christians are experiencing a renewed wave of attacks because of their faith.

Recently, believers in Nigeria experienced 11 days of targeted attacks in 11 different villages.

These attacks saw at least 18 killed and many others injured in the raids on multiple towns.

One pastor who survived the attacks, Rev. Gwong Dachollom of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) in Darwat, was ambushed and attacked along the side of a road in broad daylight. He suffered injuries when the attackers assaulted him with a machete.

"The pastor was hacked and his motorcycle carted away by his attackers," an area resident identified as Tengwong reported to Morning Star News, revealing the pastor's wounds are life-threatening.

"He's presently receiving medical attention at Vom Christian Hospital of the COCIN."

The attacks on Nigerian Christians in the communities of Jos South, Riyom, Barkin-Ladi, Mangu and Bokkos counties continued as six Christians were gunned down by radical Fulani militants "during coordinated attacks on residents of Wereng community and Bachi District of Riyom LGA as well as Tapo village of Heipang District in Barkin Ladi LGA."

These attacks appear to be well-coordinated as ambushes that were set up to catch unsuspecting Christians in their net.

"They laid an ambush at Tapo forest and sporadically opened gunfire at them," Tengwong said. "These Christians were returning home from Heipang, the district headquarters in the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area."

Dalyop Solomon Mwamtiri, an attorney with the Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria (ECCVN), decried these attacks and the increase in frequency of which Christians were targeted.

"The dastardly acts of terrorism unleashed by suspected Fulani militias in Plateau state have continued to claim lives, destruction of property including home and farmed crops on daily bases," Mwamtiri said.

As reported by Morning Star News:

"Alfred Alabo, spokesman for the Plateau State Command, confirmed the attacks in response to Morning Star News inquires.

"I can confirm these attacks and want to say that security personnel have been deployed to ensure normalcy is restored in the affected communities," Alabo said.

Sadly, the Nigerian government does little more than acknowledge the violent acts committed against Christians in the country.

According to Open Doors' World Watch List, "Christians continue to be brutally attacked in Northern Nigeria. Boko Haram, ISWAP, Fulani militants and other armed bandits have conducted devastating raids on Christian communities. The government continues to deny this is religious persecution, so violations of Christians' rights have been carried out with impunity."

With the Nigerian government's denial of religious persecution taking place, raiders such as the Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram are empowered to continue carrying out such devastating attacks against the Christian communities throughout Nigeria.

As brothers and sisters in Christ continue to look death in the face over their faith in Jesus Christ, Christians around the world can join them in prayer for the strength and perseverance in the midst of such severe persecution.

Prayers are also needed for the salvation and repentance of their militant attacks. Thereby aid to Christian communities can help them recover while also growing and thriving. And the gospel message of Jesus may be carried far and wide in the face of the enemy's attempts to silence the truth that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life for all mankind.

James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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