Pemi church burned in violent attack in northeastern Nigeria

Brethren Disaster Ministries has received a report of another violent attack affecting Nigerian Brethren in northeastern Nigeria, reported by Zakariya Musa, head of Media for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

The report concerns a Jan. 20, 2022, attack on the community of Pemi in the Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State, in which 1 person was killed and 17 children, including a 4-year-old boy, were abducted. It is believed that the attackers use abducted children as shields against military interference.

In addition, the attackers burned and/or looted the main auditorium of the Pemi EYN church, six shops, eight houses, and other properties. “The same church was burnt in December 2020 by Boko Haram during the kidnap of Pastor Bulus Yakura, and was renovated recently by the Borno State Government,” he wrote.

Buildings burned in the Jan. 20 violent attack on the community of Pemi, Borno State, Nigeria. Photo courtesy of Zakariya Musa, EYN

The attackers were reportedly chased away by military troops from Chibok, about 20 kilometers away. People have returned to the village but are still in fear, Musa reported.

He added a list of concerns:
— Continued attacks with less interference.
— Lack of security presence in the communities.
— Christian communities in the area made soft targets.
— Cold weather.
— Those who found their houses burnt have lost almost everything. They need immediate humanitarian response, such as food, clothes, medical care, bedding, utensils.
— Humanitarian organizations have limited access to the area because of high risks and hazards involved, due to proximity to Sambisa Forest where Boko Haram has hide-outs.
— Aid workers also are targeted.

“Above all,” he wrote, “our sincere prayers are important, because the people, mostly farmers in the area, are not giving up on their ancestral land, nor abandoning the communities despite incessant attacks.”


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