‘A Trying Moment in Nigeria’: An EYN Leader Tallies Deaths and Churches Lost to Violence

Photo by Glenn Riegel
Mission and service executive Jay Wittmeyer leads prayer for peace in Nigeria during the recent Annual Conference.

The following tally of deaths, burned churches, and loss of property among members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) provides a stark picture of the suffering of Nigerian Brethren since the extremist Islamist sect Boko Haram began terrorist operations in northern Nigeria around 2009. This is just one church leader’s tally from reports extracted from the EYN media department and the EYN president’s diary. It was provided to the Global Mission and Service office with the caveat that “we may not have the full statistics of the whole destruction caused by the attackers against other denominations and Muslims, but we have tried to keep most records of casualties within the EYN church.” The reports notes that because EYN churches and members are scattered all over the country, the EYN Disaster Relief Committee is working hard to identify communities, congregations, and individuals for proper documentation and assistance–so this listing most probably is incomplete and includes inconsistencies. The church leader added a personal note to Brethren in the US: “We thank you for continued prayers and support, it is keeping us going in such a perilous time.”

About terminology: EYN refers to a local congregation as an LCC, which stands for Local Church Council, and refers to a district as a DCC, which stands for District Church Council. LCB refers to a preaching point called a Local Church Branch. A “compound” is a property on which several different buildings house people who are part of the same family or group.

EYN churches affected by Boko Haram in Borno and Yobe States and Northern Adamawa

DCC Yobe:
10 church members have been killed, 3 LCC were burnt down including LCC Damaturu, LCC Pompomari, LCC Buni Yadi.

DCC Chibok:
10 members including a pastor have been killed, 8 Christian compounds were burnt, 1 motorcycle and a car were burnt.

LCC Kulali was burnt, all Christian compounds were burnt, 2 motorcycles burnt, the pastor’s houses and property were burnt.

DCC Maisandari:
Number of people killed in each LCC is as follows:  LCC Bulumkutu 16 people, LCC Dala 17 people, LCC Maduganari 7 people, LCC Tanki 6 people, LCC Polo 7 people, LCC Konduga 8 people. Total 61 people killed. Properties destroyed: beds and cushion chairs, a shop, a shop looted in Tanki, household property burnt in Polo, a church and farm produce burnt in Konduga.

DCC Biu:
Number of churches burnt 4: LCC Gamadadi, LCC Tabra, LCC Biu No. 1. One member was killed, while others were hospitalized.

DCC Maiduguri:
LCB Gajigana under LCC Maiduguri, together with the pastor’s house, were burnt and all the properties. LCB Kwana Maiwa under LCC Farm Center was burnt. Many shops, a chemist, and houses belonging to Christians were looted, while personal cars of some members were forcefully snatched. Total number of people killed was 32: Ngomari Gona 6, Pompomary 1, Farm Center 8, Jajeri 11, Maiduguri 6.

DCC Kautikari:
LCC Blakor was burnt, 2 members were killed, 3 motorcycles belonging to members were burnt, a generator belonging to a member was burnt.

DCC Attagara:
LCC Attagara was burnt, 3 members were killed.

DCC Mbulamile, Jan. 10, 2013:
The pastor at LCC Sabongari in Damboa was killed. His wife and children were shot and hospitalized. Two other members, a father and a son, were killed. The local church was burnt down.

Total numbers of EYN members killed in Borno and Yobe States and other places 147.
Pastors killed 3.
Total churches burnt 14.
Pastor’s houses burnt 2.
Motorcycles belonging to EYN members destroyed 4.
Houses belonging to EYN members burnt down 8.
Shops and houses looted, many.

Some of the most recent attacks, by date:

On Jan. 12, 2013, the Muslim Jihadists again attacked Kuburvu, a Christian village in Damboa, and burnt many houses and 2 or more people were killed. No proper report (was received) but people were killed.

On Jan. 20, 2013, 2 EYN members were killed in Maiduguri.

On Jan. 31, 2013, shops belonging to Christians in Maiduguri were attacked and 3 people were killed, 1 of them was an EYN member.

On Feb. 1, 2013, LCC Samunaka in Mubi was attacked, the pastor’s office was burnt down. Also, 3 of our members were killed while 1 sustained gun shot wounds.

On Feb. 2, 2013, news was brought that LCC Huwim under DCC Mussa was burnt.

On Feb. 3, 2013, LCC Bita in Gavva West was burnt. The church is between Damboa and Gwoza.

On Feb. 4, 2013, EYN Samunaka in Mubi was attacked, some houses belonging to Christians were burnt, ECWA (a church belonging to another denomination) was burnt, and about 12 persons were killed, 5 of which were EYN members.


Number of people killed in eight District Church Councils (DCC):
Chibok, Borno State, 10
Yobe, Yobe State, 10
Maisandari, Borno State, 61
Biu, Borno State, 1
Kautikari, Borno State, 2
Maiduguri, Borno State, 47
Attagara, Borno State, 3
Mbulamel, Borno State, 8
Kaduna, Kaduna State, 1
Mubi, Adamawa State, 4
Total 147
Number of Local Church Councils (LCC) burnt:
Attagara, Borno State
Damaturu, Yobe State
Pompomari, Borno State
Boni Yadi, Borno State
Kwaple, Borno State
Konduga, Borno State
Gamadadi, Borno State
Tabra, Borno State
Biu No. 1, Borno State
Badarawa, Kaduna State
Local Church Branches (LCB) burnt:
Bayan Tasha
Kwanan Maiwa


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