Photo credit: Aid to the Church in Need

Nigeria Christians Kiilled in Christmas Eve Attacks in Remote Villages

In Plateau State Nigeria, Fulani militias attacked Christian villages on Christmas Eve, killing nearly 200 villagers. The International Committee on Nigeria (ICON) reports that Christmas 2023 was one of the bloodiest in Plateau State. These killings, being meted out by well-armed Fulani Islamic militants (aka: bandits), against rural Christian farmers remain a constant occurrence. There are 36 states in Nigeria and in this one state alone there have been well over 600 deaths in 2023.

Dr. Dawari George, a resident of Rivers State, Nigeria who serves as the Director of  21Wilberforce Global Freedom Network Africa said, “This is one attack too many. It is an attempt to stifle a people’s means of livelihood, wipe out a people, their history, religion, and identity. The attack was pre-meditated, with intelligence on the imminent attack known to authorities, and with no action taken until the attack occurred. This requires an investigation by unbiased international organizations and the Nigerian government.”

“The governors of the North-Central States today in Jos declared that this was not a herder-farmer clash, but rather a pure case of criminality which should be treated as such” said Dr. George. “The impunity of the perpetrators and the kid-gloves response of the government sets the stage for future occurrences if left unchecked.”

Christians displaced by violence on Christmas Eve in Plateau State, Nigeria.


Dr Israel Adelani Akanji, President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, called on security agencies to bring the culprits to justice. He requested President Bola Tinubu to provide necessary security to all Nigerians and bring an end to the wanton killings of Christians in the Northern part of the country.

Amnesty’s Nigeria director, Isa Sanusi, said Tinubu’s government and others have failed to take “tangible action” to protect lives and ensure justice for victims in the conflict-hit northern region. “Sometimes they claim to make arrests but there is no proof they have done so,” he said. “The brazen failure of the authorities to protect the people of Nigeria is gradually becoming the norm.”

David Jimkuta, a senator from the area in Nigeria’s parliament, the National Assembly, said in the Christian Daily “It’s rather sad that a total of 50 villages in Ussa and Takum Local Government Areas are in ruins because of attacks carried out by terrorists against Christians,” Jimkuta said. “Unfortunately, our security agencies seem to feign ignorance as to where these terrorists are to be found. Truth is, security agencies know where these terrorists are; let them flush out these terrorists from their enclave.”

In early December 2023, Dr. Randel Everett, President of 21Wilberforce, and more than two dozen faith leaders, human rights advocates and former U.S. lawmakers signed a letter to Congress regarding religious persecution in Nigeria. The letter—entered into the Congressional Record on Dec. 12—calls for Nigeria to be designated a Country of Particular Concern by the U.S. Department of State and for the appointment of a special envoy for Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region.

Under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the CPC designation is reserved for nations that engage in or tolerate “systemic, ongoing and egregious violations” of religious freedom.