According to the non-profit group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), at least 120 Christians have died in Nigeria since February in a series of attacks by Muslim Fulani militia on Christian communities in southern Kaduna.
The latest killing spree includes attacks on February 9-10 that left 16 people dead, including a pregnant woman. Just two weeks later, 38 more Christians were slaughtered and 40 homes destroyed in attacks on the Karamai community in Maro, Kajuru. This was followed by the killing of 52 people, including women and children, on March 11 and the destruction of 500 homes in the same area.
According to survivors of the March 11 attack, "their assailants divided into three groups; one group was shooting, another set fire to homes as people ran away, and the third waited in the bush to intercept fleeing villagers . . . Pictures have emerged of hospitalized survivors of the Dogonnoma attack, showing men, women, and young children with deep machete wounds to different parts of their bodies. CSW was informed that one traumatized female survivor who suffered a deep cut to the hand had delivered a stillborn baby soon after the attack.”
One survivor, identified only as Bala, told Morning Star News, “We heard gunshots, and this forced my family to remain in our bedrooms as it was difficult for us to run out of the house.... Fulani gunmen surrounded our house and were shouting, ‘Allahu akbar.’ They killed my father, mother, two brothers and one of my sisters-in-law.”
In spite of how horrendous and cruel were these attacks, and the number of persons who lost their lives, the mainstream media almost completely ignored the story.
Breitbart News’s Rome Bureau Chief and faith correspondent Dr Thomas Williams condemned the “media silence” on the massacres, criticizing the New York Times, Washington Post, and other major outlets for failing to cover the story at all in the United States. Dr Williams wrote:
“Without exception, the mainstream media gave top billing to the [New Zealand mosque] shootings, with newspapers carrying the story on their front pages and television news channels leading off their broadcasts with the story. The bizarre aspect of the coverage was not, in fact, the attention paid to a heinous crime committed in New Zealand, but the absolute silence surrounding the simultaneous massacre of scores of Christians by Muslim militants in Africa.”
Dr. Williams noted that this same silence was found in the pages of the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit Free Press, the LA Times, and every other major newspaper in the U.S. In addition, there was no coverage of the slaughter on any of the three major television channels or cable news outlets CNN or MSNBC.
This sad silence was noted by Cardinal John Onaiyekan, who described the violence and suffering of his people as “forgotten news”.
“It’s almost as if they are tired of us”, he said. “But no matter how forgotten it is, the people who are themselves concerned cannot forget, especially the victims.” No victims ever forget, he said, “because their loved ones are gone.”
Cardinal Onaiyekan made it a point to thank Pope Francis who, during a recent Angelus address, appealed to the world for prayer for the embattled Nigerian Christians and for the conversion of the “cruel hearts” who are subjecting them to “inhumane” violence.
Even though others may ignore them, let us never forget the suffering members of the Body of Christ!
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