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***News Release***


Boko Haram Continues Slaughter of Nigerian Christians Amid Media Silence

Save the Persecuted Christians Continues to Urge the Trump Administration to Appoint a U.S. Special Envoy to Nigeria

WASHINGTON—Last week marked yet another string of bloody days for Christians in Nigeria, as Boko Haram terrorists took over the town of Michika in Nigeria’s far eastern state of Adamawa, burning buildings and exchanging fire with government troops.

This is according to a report in the Washington Examiner by journalist Douglas Burton, who is a member of the advisory board for Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC), which advocates on behalf of more than 300 million persecuted Christians around the globe. STPC leaders are present at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Anaheim, California, this week to help raise awareness about Christian persecution worldwide.

Burton further reported that, according to Nigerian wire services and eyewitnesses, the attack continued for hours with an unknown number of casualties, although initial reports mentioned “scores killed.”

For his report last week, Burton spoke with Father Peter John Wumbadi, head of St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Michika. Wumbadi said he “heard bomb blasts and lots of stray bullets,” which motivated him to pack six students from the parish school into his SUV and drive past burning buildings and crowds of panicked citizens who were running for cover.

Wumbadi drove to the village of Kalaa, where he and the students took refuge in the parish house of Father Lawrence Ikeh, which is just a few miles away from the Sambisa National Park, where it is believed some 5,000 or more Boko Haram terrorists shelter in underground bunkers. The parish is full of widows and orphans from a Boko Haram assault on Oct. 29, 2016.

“After that attack, I came to visit the villages in the two-mile area around my church, and it was like a cemetery,” said Father Ikeh, weeping. “More than 150 people had been murdered.”

The most recent assault on Michika came just a week after the chilling attacks on Christian farmers in north-central Nigeria by radical Muslims believed to be Fulani tribe terrorists, Burton reported.

“Those earlier brutal assaults on six small towns in the Christian-majority region of Southern Kaduna State took the lives of 140 civilians, chiefly women and children, but have yet to be reported by major secular media,” he wrote. “Among the first news outlets to give voice to the cries of the persecuted were the Christian Post.”

These atrocities are the reason Save the Persecuted Christians has for the past several months urged the Trump administration to take action in Nigeria through the appointment of a U.S. Special Envoy.

Burton wrote that Wumbadi also has a plea for President Trump.

“I appeal to President Trump to be proactive in urging our country’s government to alleviate the Boko Haram problem,” Wumbadi said. “That means to listen to the masses who are at the level where the violence is happening. Because most of the time there is not enough sincere information coming from the government.”

Ongoing violence in Nigeria is illustrated through Save the Persecuted Christians’ traveling exhibit called “The People of the Cross,” which displays heartbreaking photos and facts about several countries where Christian persecution is commonplace. Specifically, the Nigeria banner memorializes the 6,000 Christians who were murdered in Nigeria in the first half of 2018 alone.

The Nigeria banner further reads: “Human rights groups describe Muslim Fulani and Boko Haram jihadi attacks as ‘war by Islam to eliminate Christianity.’ Unhindered by Nigeria’s leaders, who are Islamists, these attacks threaten to cleanse Nigeria of Christians—roughly half the population.”

Boko Haram has been active in northeastern Nigeria for well over a decade, and have infiltrated the neighboring countries of Chad, Niger and Cameroon. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and more than two million displaced over the past decade. In 2015, Boko Haram was ranked the world’s deadliest terror group by the Institute for Economics and Peace.

Banners in “The People of the Cross” exhibit detail the tragedy that children, women, the elderly and Christians in general experience when persecuted in countries around the world. Each of 24 banners feature images, facts and quotes from recent news stories about the persecution of Christians in multiple countries, such as North Korea, where Christians are tortured or worse; Syria, where Christian girls and women have been sold into sex slavery; and China, where Communists are increasingly hostile to people of faith and churches and shrines are being demolished. A majority of the countries highlighted in the banners are high on the 2019 World Watch List from Open Doors USA.

The exhibit premiered in July 2018 at the U.S. Capitol as a side event to the first-ever U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. Since then, it has toured the United States, reaching tens of thousands. “The People of the Cross” exhibit is available for churches, public venues and special events. To learn more about hosting “The People of the Cross,” contact Save the Persecuted Christians or visit the website, where panels are available to view online.

The mission of Save the Persecuted Christians is to save lives and save souls by holding the persecutors accountable and creating costs for their crimes against humanity. To that end, it will disseminate actionable information about the magnitude of such crimes and bring to bear a movement of concerned Americans determined to hold persecutors accountable for such crimes and create real costs for perpetrating them against those who follow Jesus.

According to Aid to the Church in Need, which released its biannual report on Religious Freedom in the World in November, over 300 million Christians experience persecution. According to Open Doors USA World Watch List, 245 million Christians are victims of high to extreme levels of persecution (i.e., torture, rape, sex-slavery, expulsion, murder and genocide), an increase of 14 percent over 2018. Open Doors also estimates 1 in 9 of the world’s Christians experience persecution and that every month: 345 Christians are killed, often in public and without regard to gender or age; 219 Christians are abducted and imprisoned indefinitely without trial; and 106 churches are demolished.

Because most of these crimes are not covered in the media, Save the Persecuted Christians developed a dedicated news aggregator—www.ChristianPersecutionNews.com—to capture current instances of persecution and to provide readers an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others.

With so much of the world’s Christian population being attacked, imprisoned and/or exiled for their beliefs, the need has never been greater for the sort of grassroots campaign STPC’s SaveUs Movement is working to foster. Its efforts are modeled after a miraculously successful one that helped free another population suffering from heavy persecution—Soviet Jews—by penalizing those in the Kremlin responsible for such repression. Through this movement, Save the Persecuted Christians endeavors to provide American policymakers with the popular support they need to effect real change worldwide and alleviate systemically the suffering being experienced by so many of those following Christ.