The news is heartbreaking. Dozens of Catholic villagers have been killed in a raid allegedly perpetrated by Fulani extremists in Central Nigeria. This once again highlights the ongoing violence and persecution of Christians in that region.
As Catholics, we are called to pray for our brothers and sisters who are suffering, and to stand in solidarity with them. We must also continue to speak out against the injustices they face.
Please join me in praying for the victims of this senseless violence, and for an end to the persecution of Christians around the world.
Who were involved in the raid
Details continue to emerge after Fulani herdsmen attacked on October 19 in Benue State, Central Nigeria, where they reportedly killed several Catholic villagers. The police and the clergy believed that the attack was in retaliation for the killing of four Fulani herdsmen earlier in the week when there was a conflict between the herdsmen and farmers defending their crops.
Accounts differ on the number of people killed in October. 19 attacks.
The regional president, Kartyo Tyoumbur, told CNA that at least 71 people living in Gbjeji – almost all worshipers of the parish of St Michael Roman Catholic Church – died in the attack. He said at least 35 bodies were found after the attack and another 36 bodies were found in a nearby field. He said the dead included women and children, as well as two police officers.