Reverend Silas Yakubu Ali. Credit: CSW

Horror in Nigeria as Christian Pastor hacked to death

A Nigerian Christian pastor has been “macheted to death” in Nigeria’s Kaduna State.  

A Nigerian pastor has been “macheted to death” according to reports. The horrific murder was carried out by unknown assailants in Nigeria’s Kaduna State.

The vicious murder comes as Jihadi attacks continue to rise across West Africa.

According to US-based Christian persecution watchdog, International Christian Concern, Nigeria has been targeted for attacks more than any other country in the region since the beginning of 2021.

Moreover, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is ranked No. 9 on Open Door’s 2021 World Watch List for Christian persecution worldwide because of the “extreme” level of Islamic oppression taking place in the country.

The Christian pastor killed in recent days was from the Evangelical Church of Winning All. His body was later discovered by a search party, as the troubling trend of daily attacks on Christians continue without intervention in Nigeria, according to a report.

He been identified as the Rev. Silas Ali of ECWA in Kaduna State’s Zango Kataf Local Government Area and is reported to have left his home to go to the Kafanchan area on Saturday, Nigeria’s Punch news outlet first reported on Sunday.

However, the pastor was attacked around the Kibori community, which is near the Asha-Awuce area. It was here that a search party made the grim discovery. Devastated witnesses described Ali’s body as having been “macheted to death”.

The pastor’s violent murder was confirmed by Kaduna State’s Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan. Aruwan said that security agencies had launched an investigation into the killing.

The Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, expressed deep sadness at the report of the murder, describing it as horrifying and cruel, according to a report in The Guardian Nigeria.

El-Rufai sent his condolences to Ali’s family and the ECWA Church.

 

Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai Credit: Twitter / @GovKaduna

“Governor El-Rufai sent his condolences to the family of Reverend Silas Yakubu Ali, and to the ECWA Church in Kibori-Asha Awuce, as he prayed for God to grant them fortitude and comfort over this sudden and painful loss,” the report read.

“The Governor urged security agencies to intensify efforts towards apprehending the perpetrators of the heinous killing, while appealing to members of the community to maintain calm,” it added.

The brutal slaying comes in the wake of thousands of murders of Christians in the African country in recent months. Reports out of Nigeria state that Christians are being killed by Islamic extremists in the northeast of the country, as well as by radicalized Fulani herders in the farming-rich Middle Belt of Nigeria.

In July, a civil society group, ‘International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law’, also known as ‘Intersociety’, released an alarming report estimating that at least 3,462 Christians had been killed and a minimum of 3,000 Christians had been abducted in just 200 days across Nigeria.

The disturbing report also estimates that no fewer than 300 churches and 10 priests had been the victims of attacks.

In response to the barbarism, the Nigerian government has come under fire for inadequately responding to protect its Christian citizens.

Intersociety stated in the report: “The Nigerian Government has continued to face sharp criticisms and strong accusations of culpability and complicity in the killings and supervision of same.”

“The country’s security forces have so fumbled and compromised that they hardly intervene when the vulnerable Christians are in danger of threats or attacks, but only emerge after such attacks to arrest and frame up the same population threatened or attacked,” it said.

In their fight to impose a caliphate and Islamic Sharia law, Islamic terrorist groups have killed thousands in the region in recent years.

“Christians have been specifically targeted and disproportionately been affected by this violence. … The responses by the government are clearly not enough, since perpetrators of such violence are able to continue attacking Christians, and other Nigerians, with impunity,” Illia Djadi, Open Doors senior analyst on freedom of religion and belief in sub-Saharan Africa, said, ICC reports.

The Global Terrorism Index ranks Nigeria as the third country most affected by terrorism in the world. From 2001 to 2019, over 220,000 people were killed in the country in acts of terror.

Nigerian barrister and former Attorney General of Kaduna State, Mark Jocob spoke to the Christian Post last month, stating that persecution of Christians in Nigeria continues to need urgent attention.

He said that “selected killings of Christians, particularly in the ‘Middle Belt’ region of Nigeria” had been going on, and he “has been part of several mass burials” of Christians.

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