Christians were reported to be "butchered to death" by Fulani herdsmen in an attack on Nigerian believers last Sunday, May 23.
The Christian Post said that more than a dozen Christians from a village near Jos in Plateau state, Nigeria were killed by armed suspected Fulani herdsmen in two separate attacks.
Christian rights activist Solomon Mandiks told the Morning Star News that children were among the 14 casualties in Kwi village in Riyom County. While Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) member Asabe Samuel revealed an additional eight Christians died after Jos North County's Dong Village was attacked later that same day.
"I was by the central area of the village, which has shops and serves as a market, when I heard Fulani gunmen shooting around my house. This forced us to run to hide. I still rushed to my house, and just as I was getting closer to my house, I found that one Istifanus Shehu, 40, a member of COCIN (Church of Christ in Nations) who has had mental health challenges, was shot dead, and his corpse was lying beside my house," Samuel narrated to Morning Star.
"We heard the attackers retreating and shouting 'Allahu Akbar (Allah is greater).' The herdsmen were also communicating with themselves in the Fulani language," Samuel added.
A total of 22 Christians were killed, per the reports, in addition to the 15 Christians that were attacked last April by the same herdsmen.
The International Christian Concern (ICC) reported that the Fulani Militia now ranks as the fourth deadliest terror group in the world. Fulani has surpassed Boko Haram who is renowned for its kidnapping of Christians in Nigeria.
The ICC added that the Fulani Militia has now become the "greatest threat to Nigerian Christians" whose attacks are motivated to "take over farmland and impose Islam on the population." ICC revealed that Fulani's attempts are brought out of their frustration with Nigeria's Muslim-dominated government.
Christian persecution has been on the rise again in Nigeria since last year with Boko Haram said to be receiving funding for its operations. Just this month a Nigerian Pastor was abducted by Fulani militants while preaching in a church service and demanded a big ransom for his release days after.
The Christian Post revealed that there have been a total of 1,470 Nigerian Christians killed and 2,200 abducted in the first quarter of 2021 alone. The recorded deaths this year is the highest since 2014 and also surpasses that of the previous year's.
As to state, Nigeria's Northwestern Kaduna has recorded the highest deaths at 300. This is followed by the Northcentral Benue state with 200 deaths and the Central Plateau state with 90 Christian deaths. This excludes the number of Nigerian Christians who died in the hands of the local army that is Muslim-controlled. While there are a total of 22,000 Nigerian Christian deaths recorded by the Global Terrorism Index from 2001 to 2019 due to the attack of militant groups.
In April, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom enlisted Nigeria as one of the countries with fast-rising incidents on Christian persecution.
"Religious freedom conditions in Nigeria remain poor, with both state- and societally perpetrated violations. The federal government continues to persecute the leadership and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMNi), a Shi'a minority group. Additionally, there are widespread instances of intercommunal and militia violence, rampant kidnapping, and general criminality that also prevent religious freedom," the USCIRF said.