For Christians living in the North and Middle Belt of Nigeria, persecution is rife and relentless, and life itself is precarious. Since 2015, extremist violence has killed at least 8,400 Christians. The exact death toll is unknown and the numbers may be much higher than this, as many cases go unreported. One village head from the Middle Belt told Barnabas Fund in 2020, “We are tired and we do not want to bother others about our tragedies. We seem always to be reporting deaths and attacks, and people are weary of our reports.”
Thousands of people have been maimed, kidnapped or had their homes and livelihoods destroyed, and more than two million have been displaced.
Christian communities, and their churches, are targeted in deadly “religious cleansing” assaults by jihadi Boko Haram; in “your land or your blood” attacks by militant Fulani herdsmen armed with sophisticated weaponry; and by Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), who split from Boko Haram in 2015.