Dozens of Nigerian Christians kidnapped during Oct. 31 worship service

Dozens of Nigerian Christians were kidnapped and two were killed in an attack on a Baptist church in Kaduna state Oct. 31.

According to a report from Open Doors, a group of armed bandits stormed the church during a communications outage, which prevented church members from calling for help.

Nigerian news outlet Politics Nigeria reported 100 were kidnapped, citing information from the Christian Association of Nigeria or CAN, Kaduna State chapter. Other news outlets put the number of kidnapped worshippers closer to 60.

Morning Star News reported two worshippers were killed, citing a text message from Ishaya Jangado, president of the Kaduna Baptist Convention.

Kaduna CAN chairman Rev. Joseph Hayab told Politics Nigeria that security in the state had worsened, despite government claims to the contrary. Haya said Christians are “seriously worried” about future attacks because the government is not curbing insecurity in Kaduna state.

‘Killed without respite’

“Christians are being killed without respite, and the government exhibits carelessness in tackling these monsters,” Hayab told Morning Star News. “These evil people have troubled us for too long.”

Jo Newhouse, spokesperson for Open Doors work in sub-Saharan Africa, said “this kidnapping is a shocking example of the audacity of the so-called bandits and the impunity that is escalating, seemingly without bounds in Nigeria.

“The government is grossly failing its citizens in this matter and the continuing lawlessness is creating ideal breeding ground for extremism. We call on the international body of Christ to remain in fervent pray for the release of the church members, and pray that the Lord will use this situation to bring a breakthrough in this situation.”

Christians In Nigeria are frequently the victims of attacks. Kidnappers are motivated by a number of factors, including influence from Islamic extremists and the hope of obtaining ransom money for the release of their victims.

Nigeria is No. 9 on the 2021 World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, up from No. 12 in 2021.

According to the Open Doors’ 2021 report, Nigeria was the country with the most Christians killed for their faith in the previous year — 3,530 (Nov. 2019 through Oct. 2020), up from 1,350 in 2019. Nigeria was second only to Pakistan.

Nigeria trailed only China in the number of churches attacked or closed, 270, according to the list.

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