People killed, church communities attacked in Christmastime violence in Nigeria

Congregations and communities of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) were among those suffering attacks during the Christmas season in northern Nigeria, reported EYN staff.

“Some communities celebrated Christmas in tears as Boko Haram and Fulani militias attacked the following areas,” wrote Yuguda Mdurvwa of the EYN disaster response staff, in an email to Brethren Disaster Ministries.

Mdurvwa listed the following losses:

Gatamarwa in DCC [church district] Askira–10 people were killed and houses burnt.

Pemi in DCC Mbalala–3 people were killed, a car was taken away, and one burnt.

Kidlindila in DCC Mussa–2 killed, one is in hospital, one carrygo was taken away.

Ntsaha in DCC Chibok Balgi–3 killed.

Christmas Eve attacks

Mdurvwa also noted that some 200 Christians were killed on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, in attacks on the Bokkos, Mangu, and Barkin Ladi communities in the Jos area of Plateau State. These attacks did not necessarily include EYN but affected Christians from various churches.

“What a sorrowful moment for all these communities,” he wrote. He closed his email noting, “Only God can help us. The Lord will never leave us.”

EYN head of media Zakariya Musa also shared links to Nigerian media reports about the Christmas Eve attacks. Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang said in a report published by Channels TV (www.channelstv.com/2023/12/26/black-christmas-plateau-attack-death-toll-hits-over-115) that the attacks were “unprecedented and monumental” and “were connected to land disputes between aboriginal dwellers and marauding terrorists.” Another media source identified the roots of the violence in long-standing disputes between Muslim herding communities and Christian farming communities.


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