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62,000 Nigerian Christians murdered since 2000

Fulani jihadists,,,credit Pilot News, Nigeria

Country Report: Nigeria

January 2024

By Bhaswati Bhattacharjee


Since 2000, 62,000 Christians in Nigeria have been murdered in genocide perpetrated by Islamist jihadist groups including Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), and Fulani militias. The International Committee for Nigeria refers to this genocide as the “Silent Slaughter.”


In June 2022, more than 50 parishioners at St. Francis Xavier Church in Owo were massacred. The Nigerian government blamed the massacre on ISWAP, while local eyewitnesses attributed the slaughter to Fulani militias.


Aid to the Church in Need reports that in 2022, four Catholic priests were murdered in Nigeria.  23 priests and one seminarian were kidnapped and held in captivity in 2022.


In April 2023, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) reported that 18,000 Christian churches and 2,200 Christian schools have been deliberately set on fire. 34,000 moderate Muslims were also murdered by Islamist jihadists.


Leah Sharibu, one of 110 school girls who were abducted by ISWAP terrorists in 2018, is still in captivity because she refuses to renounce her Catholic faith.


At Christmas in December 2023, at least 140 Nigerian Christians were massacred in  attacks near Jos. Fulani jihadist militias targeted Christian farming communities in 26 villages across Plateau State. Local media reports indicate a death toll of 200. Numerous villagers sought refuge in the bush to escape the assailants. Many are still missing.


In a speech delivered on January 11, 2024 in the British House of Lords, Lord David Alton urged the U.K. government to promptly address the ongoing persecution of Christians in Nigeria. Emeka Umeagbalasi, the director of Intersociety, alleges that the Nigerian government and Nigerian Army are complicit in the attacks on Christians.


Due to genocidal massacres of Christians and moderate Muslims, and the Nigerian Government and Army’s failure to protect Nigerian citizens, Genocide Watch considers Nigeria to be at Stage 9: Extermination and Stage 10: Denial.


Genocide Watch Recommends:

  • The U.N. and Nigerian government should establish an independent fact-finding commission of inquiry to investigate attacks on Christian and Muslim farmers and report to the Nigerian government and U.N. Human Rights Council.

  • The Nigerian Army and police should establish a Strike Force, trained by international counter-terrorism experts, to investigate and arrest leaders of Boko Haram, ISWAP, and Fulani jihadist militias.

  • Nigerian religious leaders should establish a network of monitors to provide early warnings of attacks.

Nigeria Country Report January 2024
Download PDF • 120KB


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