The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) have killed 20 Christian men in Nigeria as a warning to ‘Christians around the world’.
The three groups of captives are reported to come from Borno State in north east Nigeria, an area where Islamic extremist groups have been targeting Christians.
According to the BBC, the killings are ‘revenge’ for the deaths of so-called Islamic State’s former leader, Abu Ibrahim al Hashimi al Qurayshi, who was killed in Syria in February.
“There are no words to describe the horror and heartbreak that the families of these men must be going through,” said Jo Newhouse, spokesperson for Open Doors in sub-Saharan Africa.
“However, while ISWAP intends to sow fear with these videos, Christians around the world should be in awe of the testimony of these men who, to the best of our knowledge, held on to their faith even in the face of execution.”
“In recent months, IS has notably stepped up its attacks on Christians and their villages and places of worship in Borno,” the BBC said. “The group targets Christians in the country and elsewhere based on a conspiracy that they are colluding with world powers to subjugate Muslims.”
“The spreading influence of violent jihadist groups in Nigeria is a grave concern,” said Newhouse. “Entire communities have been traumatised and uprooted and these killings are a call for decisive action by the regional governments and the international community to address the multiple factors that create fertile ground for further radicalisation that allows these groups to flourish.”
Nigeria is number seven on the World Watch List. More Christians are killed in the country than anywhere else in the world combined. If the list were based purely on violence against believers, Nigeria would be number one. Please continue to keep our Nigerian family in your prayers.
1. Learn more and pray: Get our free glow-in-the-dark World Watch List Map and find out more about the places where faith costs the most. Get your map here…
2. Pray regularly: Every Monday night at 7pm we’ll be praying one prayer for one minute for the one in seven Christians around the world who face persecution. Set an alarm and tune in…
3. Choose to Lose: Raise money by getting sponsored to lose something you love for a short time. Sign up and we’ll send you a fundraising pack…
4. Send a message of hope: Imagine getting a letter from a Christian on the other side of the world who’d heard about you and was praying for you – encouraging right? Well, you can send encouragement now to young Christians facing persecution. Do that here now…
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