Date: April 4, 2021
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife) – Bandits have reportedly abducted eight Christian evangelists in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna State amid an Islamic campaign of targeted kidnappings, Christians said.
The Christians were kidnapped after their minibus was stopped driving from Kaduna city to Kafanchan on March 26, Christians and Nigerian media said.
The minibus – with on its side “Redeemed Christian Church of God” – was reportedly held up at around 7 p.m. local time, about 39 miles (63 kilometers) from Kaduna city. The Christians, all adults, were traveling to Kafanchan on an evangelistic mission, local media said.
Alao Joseph, a spokesman of the church in Kaduna, said there was “hope” that police “will help secure the immediate rescue of the church members.” Joseph told reporters that the kidnappers asked the church for some $125,000 in local currency.
Rights activists say Christians in Nigeria are often targeted for abduction. In January, a church minister was abducted along with his brother and murdered by machete-wielding bandits in Gulu, Niger State, according to Christians familiar with the situation.
Boko Haram Islamist militants abducted another pastor on Christmas Eve 2020 in Pemi, Borno State. He was held for more than two months before being released on the day militants said they would kill him, rights activists said.
Abducting civilians, especially Christians, is a significant part of terror group Boko Haram’s activities. Over a thousand children have been kidnapped since the group was founded in 2002, explained the Barnabas Fund, an advocacy group.