Unknown assailants in Nigeria’s Kaduna State “macheted to death” a pastor from the Evangelical Church of Winning All whose body was later found by a search party, as the troubling trend of deadly attacks on Christians carry on unabated in that country, according to a report.
The slain pastor has been identified as the Rev. Silas Ali of ECWA in Kaduna State’s Zango Kataf Local Government Area who left his home to go to Kafanchan area on Saturday, Nigeria’s Punch news outlet first reported Sunday.
Ali was apparently attacked around Kibori community, near Asha-Awuce area, where a search party discovered his body that was described as having been macheted to death.
Kaduna State’s Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the pastor’s murder, saying security agencies had started an investigation.
Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai described the killing as cruel and sent his condolences to the pastor’s family and the ECWA Church, The Guardian Nigeria reported.
While the assailants have not been identified, thousands of Christians have been killed in Nigeria — Christians are killed by radicalized Fulani herders in the farming-rich Middle Belt of Nigeria and by Islamic extremists in the country’s northeast.
In July, a civil society group, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, or Intersociety, released a report estimating that at least 3,462 Christians had been killed and at least 3,000 Christians had been abducted in just 200 days. The report also estimates that no fewer than 300 churches and 10 priests had been attacked.
Many have accused the Nigerian government of inadequately responding to protect its citizens.
“The Nigerian Government has continued to face sharp criticisms and strong accusations of culpability and complicity in the killings and supervision of same,” Intersociety said in the report. “The country’s security forces have so fumbled and compromised that they hardly intervene when the vulnerable Christians are in danger of threats or attacks, but only emerge after such attacks to arrest and frame up the same population threatened or attacked.”
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is ranked No. 9 on Open Door’s 2021 World Watch List for Christian persecution worldwide due to an “extreme” level of Islamic oppression.