By Linda Jones
10/5/2017 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) – On February 20, 2017 the residents of four Christian villages in Ashim, Mif, Zilang, and Bakin Kogi, located in the Attakar District of South Kaduna, Nigeria were attacked by a group of radical Fulani militants. The perpetrators unleashed their assault with gunfire and by burning down houses. A total of 26 people were killed, 19 were injured, and more than 70 homes were completely burnt down. Among the injured were seven victims who had to be hospitalized and required extensive treatment as a result of their wounds. The hospital is waiting for a guarantee of payment before they continue with the necessary treatment for these victims.
Godfrey F., one of the victims, shared, “It was on a Monday. I got ready and set out for school. I met the fiercely looking Fulani on the way and ran back. I met my father on the way and warned him that it was not safe. We ran into the grass, but they set the grass on fire. It burnt me on my back. I ran out to the other side of the village, but they trapped and attacked me multiple times with machete. They asked me who had a gun in the village and I told them no one had. They set the bush on fire, burning my father in it. They also killed my brother. I started running, and met some boys and told them. I ran and saw my younger sister and held her hand to run. The Fulanis pushed her down into the fire. Help later came and we were eventually taken to the hospital. I was on oxygen in the ICU for a week, but got better and moved to the regular ward.”
Fulani militants have targeted Christian communities in Nigeria on many occasions over the past five years. They often persecute Christians by killing them or destroying their homes, churches, farmlands, and other properties. Thanks to the support of our donors, we have been able to assist several victims of persecution and the victims of these four villages were no exception. International Christian Concern (ICC) partnered with the Christian Medical and Dental Association and Jos University Teaching Hospital to provide medical assistance for these victims. The goal of this project was to support the victims with their medical expenses and overall medical care. Therefore, the assistance we provided took care of the intensive care, plastic surgery, medicine, laboratory testing, and nursing care for each of the seven victims who were hospitalized.
Unfortunately, two of the victims passed away. The other five victims were able to recover and have now been discharged from the hospital, but have to return periodically for follow-ups.
“We really appreciate the aid provided by ICC to assist the seven injured victims that were taken to the hospital. Unfortunately, two died. On behalf of the entire community and the immediate beneficiaries, we deeply appreciate it. The Chief also extends his immense gratitude to ICC. A letter of appreciation is to follow,” said the village’s chairman.
Beyond providing medical care for these victims, there is still more that we can do for the persecuted. Let’s remember to pray for their recovery, not only physically, but also economically, spiritually, and mentally. The trauma that these people have endured requires a lot of spiritual strength for them to continue sharing the Gospel. Therefore, pray also for the church leaders as they support and encourage their congregation.