Fulani Muslim Christmas Killing Spree: 170 Dead

Fulani Muslim Christmas Killing Spree: 170 Dead

Fulani Muslims carried out coordinated attacks on Christians over Christmas in 26 villages of Nigeria’s Middle Belt, leaving some 170 dead.

The Islamist attacks all took place in Plateau State in central Nigeria, beginning on December 23 and lasting through December 27.

“The unprovoked attacks were well-coordinated and deliberate, specifically targeting Christian communities,” said Father Andrew Dewan, communications director for the Pankshin Diocese, where the killings took place. “I can confirm that the victims are 100 percent Christian.”

In his December 28 interview with the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Father Dewan noted that “not one Fulani was affected and no Fulani houses were burned.”

On the other hand, Christians were “summarily shot and killed,” the priest said, and “houses and corn that had been harvested were set ablaze; churches and clinics were also set on fire.”

“For those who believe that this conflict is not religious, this latest attack proves that it is clearly a religious conflict,” Dewan said.

“The fact that it took place at Christmas, and the deliberate targeting of Christians in a mixed community where Muslims are not attacked, clearly bears all the hallmarks of a religious conflict,” he added.

“The attacks were deliberate and also symbolic because of the timing,” the priest noted. “There had been rumors in the mainstream and social media that Fulanis were going to attack, and that the aim was to inflict pain and maximum destruction on the Christians.”

While 167 deaths have already been confirmed, the total death toll “is definitely going to rise because there are still many people in hospitals, with varying degrees of injuries and wounds,” he stated.

Regina Lynch, ACN International executive president, compared the slaughtered Christians to the innocent children massacred by King Herod, who sought the death of the child Jesus 2000 years ago.

“Our Christian brothers and sisters killed in Nigeria, and in other countries of the world, are the ‘Holy Innocents’ of the 21st century,” she said, in reference to the feast day celebrated by Christians on December 28.

“The bloodshed as followers of Jesus will, we are sure, be the seed of new Christians,” she added.

In her statement, Lynch also called on the Nigerian government to “finally confront this problem and provide safety to its citizens.”