What is the ongoing situation in Nigeria?

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Nigeria accounted for 89% of martyred Christians worldwide in 2022, according to Open Doors World Watch List. And the violence has not halted—even during the holiday season.

At least 150 people were murdered on Christmas weekend in a Christian-dominated village in Nigeria. In the attack, an armed group burned down most houses in the area and left another 300 people hospitalized.

Governor, Plateau, Nigeria

It has been a very, very terrifying Christmas for us here on the Plateau.
This particular set of attacks was well-coordinated with heavy weaponry.

Although no group has officially taken responsibility for the attacks, unofficial blame has been cast on the herdsmen of the primarily Muslim Fulani tribe. Since 2011, the tribe has clashed with predominantly Christian farmers and their attacks have intensified amid drought in an attempt to seize land and scarce resources.

But Nigeria has also seen a high amount of crimes from Islamic extremist groups like Boko Haram, including last year's mass shooting and bomb attack on a Catholic church. Over 50,000 Christians have been murdered at the hands of these groups since 2009, as reported by Intersociety.

The ongoing violence in Africa's most populated country has garnered the attention of Pope Francis.

Sadly, the celebration of Christmas in Nigeria was marked by serious violence, in Plateau state, with many victims. I pray for them and their families: May God deliver Nigeria from these horrors.

Pope Francis' most recent appeal for peace in Nigeria was this New Years Eve. But he has also spoken publicly about the persecution of the Nigerian people multiple times in past years.


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