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A Gory Christmas - Christians Slaughtered in the Nigerian Genocide - by Raymond Ibrahim for The Gatestone Institute – 07.01.24

"Every two hours in Nigeria, a Christian is killed for their faith." — Open Doors, April 22, 2022.

The Associated Press (AP) failed to mention that the massacres occurred during Christmas, just as it failed to mention the identities of the attackers (Muslims) and their victims (Christians). Rather, it presented the conflict, as many commentators increasingly do, as a supposedly regrettable byproduct of climate change...

"It's tough to tell Nigerian Christians this isn't a religious conflict since what they see are Fulani fighters clad entirely in black, chanting 'Allahu Akbar!' and screaming 'Death to Christians.'" — Sister Monica Chikwe, Nigerian nun,, August 4, 2019.

In 2020, President Donald J. Trump placed Nigeria on the State Department's List of Countries of Particular Concern — that is, nations which engage in, or tolerate violations of, religious freedom. Under President Joseph R. Biden, however, the State Department removed Nigeria... from the list.

For the mainstream media and many politicians, black lives — well over 50,000 and counting — apparently do not matter. At least not when those lives are Christian and being slaughtered by Muslims.

Muslims are now openly committing genocide against Christians in Nigeria, as confirmed by international observers. For the mainstream media and many politicians, black lives — well over 50,000 and counting — apparently do not matter. At least not when those lives are Christian and being slaughtered by Muslims.

Today, January 7, 2024, marks the Eastern Orthodox Christmas, according to the Julian calendar. It seems an appropriate time to recall that less than two weeks ago, on December 25, 2023, the more familiar Roman Catholic and Protestant Christmas was being celebrated in the West.


This winter, however, festivities were cancelled. Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, was a ghost town . "This year," said Brother John Vinh a Franciscan monk, "without the Christmas tree and without lights, there's just darkness." Alas, for many other Christians, Christmas was also just darkness.

While around much of the world, the holiday was being celebrated with peace and joy, in Nigeria, starting on Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day, Muslims massacred nearly 200 Christians.

During this holy time, "well-armed" Muslim Fulani tribesmen hacked, stabbed, riddled with bullets, and burned alive their Christian victims, many of whom were in the process of celebrating Christmas.

According to one report:

"At least 25 communities across three Local Government Areas [in Plateau State] were targeted. Survivors recounted militia men attacking in large numbers, indiscriminately killing and destroying homes, vehicles, farmlands and other properties. About 37 individuals, primarily women, children and the disabled, were burned to death in their homes. Eight churches and parsonages were also destroyed..."

The number of slain is expected to rise. "Yes, my village was attacked on Christmas Eve, and other villages close to my community," confirmed Timothy, from there, during an interview.

"More dead bodies were found in the bush today... Many houses were burnt including my church. I can't say how many people were killed but we found more dead bodies today and we are looking for missing ones."

More than 300 Christians were also seriously wounded, 29,350 people displaced, and countless homes and churches — including 221 homes in just one village — torched during the jihadist raids.

Four family members of another villager, Naomi, were murdered and she was displaced. "My house was burned... I mourned on Christmas day," she said.

Several Christian leaders were also slaughtered, including a pastor, his wife and their five children, related Dawzino Mallau, another villager.

"These terrorists who attacked these Christian communities were in the hundreds, and they carried out the attacks as the hapless Christians were preparing for Christmas...."

Underscoring the scale of the attack, photographs show victims being buried in mass graves.

"This indeed has been a gory Christmas for us," Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang said in a statement that characterized the attacks as "well-coordinated" and carried out with "heavy weapons."

Another report said of the massacre:

"Most of the Christians killed were women, children and the elderly unable to escape.... Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in the Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians' lands and impose Islam... Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith in 2022, with 5,014, according to Open Doors' 2023 World Watch List (WWL) report.

It also led the world in Christians abducted (4,726), sexually assaulted or harassed, forcibly married or physically or mentally abused, and it had the most homes and businesses attacked for faith-based reasons. As in the previous year, Nigeria had the second most church attacks and internally displaced people."

Due to its "sensationalist" nature — nearly 200 Christians murdered, and during Christmas-time no less — this attack received a fair bit of reporting on larger "alt-right" and conservative news sites. In reality, however, no aspect of these attacks — neither the number of Christians massacred, nor the time of year — is "new" or unique to Nigeria.

As elsewhere, Islamic terrorists in Nigeria target Christians regularly, especially during their holy seasons. Thirteen years ago, during Christmas of 2011, Gatestone Institute reported:

"Several churches in northern Nigeria were bombed December 25 [2011], in what has been described as 'Nigeria's blackest Christmas ever.'

The attacks, perpetrated by the Muslim militant group Boko Haram, killed at least 39 people, 'the majority dying on the steps of a Catholic church [in Madalla near the capital of Abuja] after celebrating Christmas Mass as blood pooled in dust from a massive explosion.' Charred bodies and dismembered limbs lay scattered around the destroyed church."

For the full article, please click here or click on the link below for a copy of the pdf file:

A Gory Christmas - Christians Slaughtered in the Nigerian Genocide - by Raymond Ibrahim fo
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Raymond Ibrahim, author of Defenders of the West, Sword and ScimitaCrucified Again, and The Al Qaeda Reader, is the Distinguished Senior Shillman Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and the Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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