It’s Becoming Harder to Ignore the Genocide in Nigeria
Together, we can stand with the Nigerian Christians and take action.
Genocide is not my word. It’s the word being used by Christian leaders within the country of Nigeria.
Writing for the Christian Post on July 3, Stoyan Zaimov noted that, “Church leaders in Nigeria have said that Christians are experiencing ‘pure genocide’ as 6,000 people, mostly women and children, have been murdered by Fulani radicals since January.” (The Fulani are Muslim herdsmen, many of whom have become radicalized.)
As stated by the Christian Association of Nigeria and church denominational heads in Plateau State, “What is happening in Plateau state and other select states in Nigeria is pure genocide and must be stopped immediately.”
But does anyone care? As reported by Raymond Ibrahim for the Gatestone Institute, International Policy Council, “International Community Ignores Genocide of Christians in Nigeria.”
Ibrahim writes, “That 6,000 Christians, ‘mostly children, women and the aged,’ have been butchered in just the first six months of this year is a reminder of how violence only escalates when left unchecked. That is the story of the Muslim persecution of Christians in Nigeria.”
The Intolerant Ideology of Jihad
Sadly, he notes, “The Nigerian government and the international community, however, have from the start done little to address the situation. This lack of participation is not surprising: they cannot even acknowledge its roots, namely, the intolerant ideology of jihad. As a result, the death toll of Christians has only risen — and will likely continue to grow exponentially — until such time that this reality is not only acknowledged but addressed.”
In recent days, I’ve been trying to draw attention to the increased persecution of Christians in Nigeria, and little by little, more and more people are becoming aware. And I’m just one of many voices seeking to get the message out.
Already in February, 2016, an article in the UK Tablet announced, “Violent killings of Christians in Nigeria up 62 per cent.”
The article cited a report released by Open Doors, showing “that in 2015 there were 4,028 killings and 198 church attacks, nearly double those of the previous year.
“In the five years between 2009 and 2014, 11,500 Christians were killed and 13,000 churches destroyed, forcing 1.3 million Christians to flee to safer areas of the country or risk smuggling routes to Europe, says the report.
“The persecution of Christians is carried out by three groups: Islamist terror group, Boko Haram; Muslim Fulani herdsmen; and the Muslim religious and political elite that dominates government in northern Nigeria.”
A Massive Backlash
So, this information is nothing new. Yet when I and others try to get the word out, there is massive backlash.
“You’re lying! You’re making all this up! This is not a religious conflict at all. It’s just political fighting between Muslims and Christians. You’re trying to start a civil war!”
That’s what I was confronted with when I reported on these horrific acts last week on Twitter, to the point that my account was locked for twelve hours.
Twitter subsequently apologized to me, saying that they locked me out in error. But it was perfectly clear that I was targeted by quite a few Twitter users. They did not want these stories to get out to the rest of the world.
One Twitter user named Susan gave me a piece of her mind: “Tell @DrMichaelLBrown and @PamelaGeller That Nigeria is NOT one of those countries you show up and ‘save’ with your LIES and DECEIT. There are millions of Nigerians more knowledgeable and educated than you can ever be. GO AWAY and stop trying to start a religious war in Nigeria.”
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It looks like the truth stings. Deeply.
Another tried to have me blocked: “Dear @Twitter @TwitterSafety @verified kindly warn, block and delete this handle (@DrMichaelLBrown). He is out to cause chaos in our Dear #Nigeria.”
As did another: “@Twitter this handle is trying to incite violence pls block it @DrMichaelLBrown.”
How remarkable that my appeal to President Buhari to stop the violence was twisted into a call for violence.
As other Nigerian Christians have told me, much of the media in their country is covering up the facts. Worse still, they are convinced the government is either looking the other way or even aiding and abetting the terrorism.
Yesterday, a friend sent me pictures of a recent massacre of Nigerian Christians. (He described it as a pogrom.)
One photo showed rows of corpses. Another showed a baby with massive wounds across the face and head (they look to be machete wounds.) Another showed piles of bodies.
A Nigerian twitter follower also posted photo after photo. They told the graphic and brutal truth of horrific suffering and wholesale slaughter.
Yet the same world that is concerned (rightly so) about the rescue of trapped boys in a cave in Thailand is indifferent to a genocide taking place on our watch.
A Growing Body Count
Can we claim ignorance any longer?
On August 7, 2017, I wrote an article on “The Girl Suicide Bombers of Boko Haram,” asking, “Why do we hardly hear about this in the West?” Then, on February 18 of this year, I wrote another article asking, “Why Don’t We Care About the Slaughter of Nigerian Christians?”
Other websites, like JihadWatch.org, have been reporting on these attacks, and every day, the evidence mounts as the body count grows.
In fact, I was surprised (and encouraged) to learn that in April, at a joint White House conference with Nigerian President Buhari in April, President Trump addressed the issue as well.
President Trump Addressed the Genocide
“We are deeply concerned by religious violence in Nigeria including the burning of churches and the killing and persecution of Christians. It’s a horrible story,” he said.
“We encourage Nigeria and the federal state and local leaders to do everything in their power to immediately secure the affected communities and to protect innocent civilians of all faiths including Muslims and including Christians.”
Yet he may have left Buhari off too easily, praising his “efforts to fight ISIS and Boko Haram in the West African nation, [while] Fulani herdsmen have recently outpaced both as the deadliest terror force in Nigeria.”
So, I ask you again to keep doing what you have done in recent days. Keep shouting this story from the rooftops.
Word is getting out. These black, Christian lives do matter.
Together, we can stand with them and take action. And let’s continue to pray for their courage, their protection, and the conversion of their persecutors.
To paraphrase Hebrews 13:1, “Remember those being slaughtered as if it was your family being slaughtered, and those being burned alive as if the flames were consuming your own flesh.”
Does this make things more pressing and relevant?