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Over a 14-year period, 18,000 churches have been set alight in Nigeria, including this church in Maiduguri (ACN)

More than 50,000 Christians have been killed in Nigeria since the outbreak of the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in 2009, a new report published by a Nigerian non-governmental organisation has revealed. Source: Vatican News.

The “Martyred Christians in Nigeria” report has been published by the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), a Nigerian-based research and investigative rights group, which has been monitoring and investigating religious persecution and other forms of religious violence by State and non-State actors across Nigeria since 2010.

According to its findings, over the past 14 years at least 52,250 Nigerian Christians have been murdered by Islamist militants, more than 30,000 of whom during the eight-year presidency of former Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, often criticised during his tenure for not doing enough to combat growing insecurity in the country. 

In the same period, 18,000 churches and 2200 Christian schools were set ablaze. Approximately 34,000 moderate Muslims also died in Islamist attacks.

The outlook for 2023 does not seem any better, with more than 1000 Christians killed since the beginning of the year and at least 707 Christians kidnapped.

The attacks have led to mass forcible displacement. About 5 million Christians have been displaced and forced into Internally Displaced Persons camps within Nigeria and refugee camps at regional and sub-regional borders, the report says.

Pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need has also given voice to the thousands of Christians persecuted for their faith in Nigeria. In its latest annual report, ACN reported that more than 7600 Nigerian Christians were murdered between January 2021 and June 2022.


Over 50,000 Christians killed in Nigeria by Islamist extremists (By Lisa Zengarini, Vatican News)