Muslims slaughter 13 Christians, run hundreds off their land

By Leo Hohmann

Fulani Muslim herdsman have been attacking Christian villages in northern Nigeria.
Fulani Muslim herdsman have been attacking Christian villages in northern Nigeria.

Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked a cluster of Christian villages in Kaduna state in northern Nigeria last week, killing at least 13 Christians and scattering members of three churches, area sources said.

A survivor of the attacks told Morning Star News that the herdsmen killed two Christian women in Ninte village on Aug. 1, and that she knew of eight Christians killed in Gada Biyu on Aug. 2. Local newspapers reported nine people were killed in Gada Biyu, with another two men killed in Akwa’a on Aug. 3.

News of the massacre comes on the same day a new report was released by Media Research Center showing the U.S. media have covered up the genocide of Christians in the Middle East.

One of hundreds of Christians displaced from the area, Martha Yohanna of Alheri Baptist Church in Gada Biyu village, told Morning Star News that the attacks on Ninte and Gada Biyu villages were carried out by Muslim Fulani herdsmen. The Muslim herdsmen have become heavily armed in recent years.

“On Aug. 1 at about noon in Ninte, the Fulani herdsmen attacked two Christian women and a man while they were on their farm,” she said. “They cut them with machetes. A woman and her daughter in-law were killed by the Fulani herdsmen while the man is still in the hospital as I talk with you.”

The next day, the Fulani herdsmen killed eight Christians in Gada Biyu, including five identified only as Friday, Akoro, Mamman, Danladi, and Jerry, she said.

Her brother-in-law, 25-year-old Joseph, is missing and is presumed to have been killed by the herdsmen, Yohanna told the news service.

“It is over a week now that he has not been seen, and nothing has been heard about him,” she said.

On Aug. 3, after security forces had turned away the herdsmen, she said the assailants returned to Gada Biyu at about 6 p.m. to burn down houses.

“They carried out the destruction for three hours,” Yohanna said. “I escaped from Gada Biyu to Gidan Waya on Monday [Aug. 1] when the Fulani came to attack the village at noon, and returned on Wednesday afternoon to retrieve some of our clothing. By the evening of that Wednesday, the Fulani herdsmen returned to my village to destroy our homes. They lit fire on some houses before policemen and soldiers were brought there to repel them.”

What genocide?

The Washington-based Media Research Center issued a special report Wednesday titled “Shameful Silence” in which it spotlights the whitewashing by the U.S. media of the Christian genocide going on in the Middle East.

The report details the broadcast news networks’ silence on Christian genocide in the Middle East. Below is a summary of their findings.

  • What Genocide?: Between January 2014 and June 2016, the network evening news shows referred to persecution against Christians in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia just 60 times. Despite telling of murders, forced religious conversions and mass displacement, the networks refused to add up the thousands of atrocities to what they clearly amount to: genocide. Just 6 of the 60 reports used the word genocide. Even when Secretary of State John Kerry officially declared in March 2016 that ISIS was engaging in genocide, CBS didn’t report it.
  • Media Kept Calling Darfur ‘Genocide’: During the George W. Bush administration, the networks had no problem calling the situation in Darfur genocide, even before the U.S. officially called it that. Once it did, they referred to the Darfur “genocide” 38 times in two years.
  • Journalists should have known: If network reporters had even connected the dots of their own reports, they should have known and reported on what was really happening to Christians. By their own reporting, hundreds of thousands of Christians are “on the run” from their homes, mass graves have been found, and Christians have been forced to “convert or die.” In addition, network journalists could have watched their own news magazine shows. Both ABC’s Nightline and CBS’s 60 Minutes have aired excellent long-form stories on the atrocities, though neither show used the word genocide.
  • Pandering to Obama’s downplaying the slaughter: The six instances where the networks have used “genocide” or equivalent terms, they’ve tended to lump Christians in with Yazidis and Shia Muslims as victims, echoing the Obama administration’s reluctance to focus on the anti-Christian violence. During the two years MRC Culture analyzed, one source has recorded 226 Muslim- on-Christian attacks. At least 125 churches have been attacked. According to one Christian group, 7,000 Christians worldwide were killed because of their faith in 2015 alone. Yet even when the Obama administration has (officially and unofficially) called the Christian persecution in Iraq and Syria genocide, the networks almost never used the word.

Meanwhile stories of harrowing escapes are emerging from Nigeria.

Gada Biyu, near the Kafanchan, has three Christian congregations that were displaced as a result of the attack, Yohanna said: Alheri Baptist Church, Sabon Rai Baptist Church and an Evangelical Church Winning All.

“The three pastors escaped from the village during the attack, and since the attack have not returned to the village,” she said. “My pastor, the Rev. Nathan Jaweson of Alheri Baptist Church, on Monday, following the killing of the two women in Ninte village, evacuated his family to Godogodo and returned to Gada Biyu.”

The pastor narrowly escaped being killed on Aug. 2 as he swam across the river at Gada Biyu. He’s now living as a refugee in Kafanchan.

The pastor of the ECWA church has fled to Godogodo, while the whereabouts of the pastor of Sabon Rai Baptist Church are unknown, Yohanna said. Because of the attacks, the three churches of Gada Biyu held no worship services on Sunday (Aug. 7). Alheri Baptist Church normally has about 300 members.

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