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As terrorists continue to relentlessly attack Christians in Nigeria, 70 churches are forced to close their doors


Tens of thousands of Nigerian Christians have been murdered, kidnapped, and displaced by Boko Haram and other terror groups since 2009, but the U.S. government continues to attribute the violence to climate change rather than religious hatred.

A Nigerian denomination has been forced to close 70 of its churches due to rampant terror attacks.

Rev. Amos Mohzo, who is president of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), has told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News that the relentless attacks by terror groups like Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen have forced the denomination to close churches.

Over the past two years, 70 churches in Mangu and Bokkos counties have had no choice but to shut down.

Last year’s attacks at Christmastime, which affected more than 20 villages and left hundreds dead and tens of thousands displaced from their homes, included COCIN congregations.

“Our members were killed, people were killed, people lost their houses, many traumatized, and we couldn’t do anything,” Mohzo recounted. “We were stranded, but we had to face the challenge, and Christmas was celebrated by displaced Christians in Internally Displaced People’s (IDPs) camps in spite of the tragedy.”

The attacks have led to 40 churches being closed in Mangu alone. Mohzo stated that most of the people are displaced and living in camps.

In the Bokkos region, the denomination has lost 30 congregations, according to Mohzo.

“All our worship church buildings in these communities were burned down by the terrorists,” he says. “Internally Displaced Christians from these communities are still living in camps outside their communities. And even now, most of them who are farmers are unable to go to their farms.”

He said that those who try to return to their homes face unceasing attacks, stalling the efforts to rebuild houses and worship buildings.

There have been so many kidnappings and demands for ransom that raising money to pay the ransoms for pastors has been challenging.

Mohzo lamented, “And this is because almost in all parts of northern Nigeria, our church members and pastors are being kidnapped by terrorists. So, where can we raise large sums of money to get them out from their captors?”

COCIN has been attempting to secure the release of Rev. Paul Musa and his wife, who have been captives for over a year.

“I was recently in the city of Maiduguri and visited his children,” Mohzo explained. “They’re traumatized. They pleaded with me to secure the release of their parents, and I told them that if it is within my reach I will not allow their parents to remain in captivity even for one second, but it’s beyond us. The children are always crying, always in tears for their parents. It pains my heart to see these children in this way.”

Boko Haram issued an ultimatum for ransom that has since expired. COCIN has not heard any word from the terrorists regarding whether Musa and his wife are still alive.

Meanwhile, Catholic priest Mikah Suleiman was released by his captors on July 7.

According to a report by Intersociety, a Nigerian NGO, 52,250 Christians were murdered in Nigeria since the rise of Boko Haram in 2009 until April 2023.

Intersociety says that 8,222 Christians were martyred in Nigeria from January 2023 to January 2024.

Open Doors had a different figure, claiming that 4,998 Nigerian Christians were murdered last year.

Whoever is closer to the true number, we can’t be sure.

What we do know, though, is that Christians are suffering horribly in Nigeria, with thousands of Christians murdered, hundreds more kidnapped, and countless homes and churches destroyed every year.

Boko Haram is an Islamic terror group that has terrorized the nation for 15 years.

Many will likely remember the world’s horror when learning that Boko Haram had kidnapped nearly 300 Christian schoolgirls from their dormitory in 2014. The terror group has also kidnapped an unknown number of boys, though PBS claimed in 2016 that the number was more than 10,000. And it continues this tactic even into 2024, as hundreds of schoolchildren were kidnapped in two different incidents in March.

Boko Haram inflicts torture on these children, forcing the girls to convert to Islam and into marriage, while forcing the boys to watch and partake in abhorrent violence as a way to brainwash them into becoming terrorists themselves.

Fulani herdsmen are also engaging in Islamic jihad. They have become known to Western readers over the last few years due to their numerous assaults on Christian communities. The herdsmen burn houses and churches, kidnap pastors and women, and slaughter churchgoers.

Meanwhile, experts in international relations and Western bureaucrats claim that the violence is due to land disputes caused by climate change.

The State Department removed Nigeria from its list of the world’s worst religious freedom violators after it made an appearance on the list in 2020 under the Trump administration.

The takeaway is that the State Department doesn’t want to admit that this is a religiously motivated genocide.

It is time for the U.S. to admit what is happening to Christians in Nigeria and press Nigeria’s government to end this violence.

Meanwhile, Christians should consider financially supporting organizations that help persecuted Christians. They should also contact members of Congress and encourage them to raise awareness of the plight of Nigerian Christians and put pressure on the State Department to call out Nigeria for its failure to protect its people.

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who spent 14 years in a communist prison, once said that “there are no nominal, halfhearted, lukewarm Christians in Russia and China. The price Christians pay is too great.”

The same can clearly be said of the faithful in Nigeria.

Wurmbrand also noted that “persecution has always produced a better Christian—a witnessing Christian, a soul-winning Christian.”

So let us humbly but boldly pray for our suffering Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria, that they are not only given the comfort and strength they need to endure their current plight but that their suffering produces in them a witness that glorifies God and helps win souls to Christ.

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