Nigeria | 40 Christians Killed In The Lead Up To Easter

View All News
By Jacob Ennever, Open Doors USA | 1 May 2019

While the world has its eyes on the tragedy in Sri Lanka, the church in Nigeria also suffered a series of attacks during the Easter period.

Our field has confirmed recent news about Easter attacks on Christians in Nigeria. More than 40 people lost their lives—many of them children. Please pray for those who lost loved ones and those who are recovering from injuries after these attacks.

Palm Sunday, Nassarawa

At around 9pm on Palm Sunday, April 14, Fulani herdsmen invaded the village of Kochum-Numa, in north-central Nigeria. 

They killed 17 people at a late-night naming ceremony (christening) for a child. The parents of the child were among the victims. Several others sustained various degrees of injuries.

“Anger and sorrow were evident, and tears rolled uncontrollably down faces as the victims of this carnage were laid to rest,” said a local source.

Good Friday, Benue 

11 people were killed and many are unaccounted for following a Good Friday attack by gunmen. Local news sources say they targeted worshippers returning from church.

“People went for Good Friday Service and were on their way back home when many of them were ambushed… The death toll may be higher because nobody knows the whereabouts of close to 40 missing persons.”

Easter Sunday, Gombe

On Easter Sunday, a Muslim defence officer killed 13 boys taking part in a late-night Easter procession in Sabob Layi. The procession is an annual event to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Some media outlets described the incident as an “accident,” but eyewitnesses say the officer, known as Ukasha, met the group of Christian boys around midnight and had a disagreement with the boys regulating traffic.

“Ukasha refused to use the lane reserved for vehicles and took the lane used by the procession. He apparently threatened to shoot the boys controlling traffic with his service firearm,” a field worker reports.

After the argument, he returned to the procession, turned off the vehicle’s headlights, and rammed into the group. He instantly killed nine and injured 32 others. Four more boys died later at the hospital.

At Easter, persecution increases for Christians around the world in both severity and likelihood. Please pray with our brothers and sisters in Nigeria who have experienced this in 2019.

Please Pray For Nigeria:

  • Pray that the family and friends of those killed will find hope and love in the arms of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for communities and churches affected by these attacks. Pray that they do not live in fear or hatred, but find peace.
  • Pray for strength and wisdom for our local partners as they support persecuted Christians in Nigeria.


Stay updated with the latest news from the persecuted church.

Hear More Stories From Africa In Our Latest Podcast Episode

Listen Now