Boko Haram kills 11, abducts pastor on Christmas Eve in Nigeria raid

December 25, 2020 by Lindy Lowry in Africa

Like Christians around the world, believers in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state’s Pemi village were also in the midst of last-minute preparations to celebrate the birth of Christ when the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram reigned down terror on Christmas Eve.

On December 24, Boko Haram fighters attacked, killing at least 11 people, abducting seven people, including a pastor, and burning down a church. They also looted 10 homes and stole medical supplies from a hospital, before setting it on fire, as well.

A local leader told AFP News that fighters rode in on trucks and motorbikes from the Sambisa Forest, opening fire indiscriminately on the predominately Christian village.

Who is Boko Haram?

“Boko Haram attacked Pemi village, killed seven people and abducted another seven, including a pastor,” Kachallah Usman, secretary of the Chibok local government area, told CNN on Friday. Militia leader Abwaku Kabu said the group looted food supplies that were meant to be distributed to residents to celebrate Christmas—food that was likely desperately needed in a country where starving Christians have been denied COVID-19 government relief.

A few days before, security officials had warned an attack on Christmas was likely.

Pemi village is only 20 miles from Chibok where the Islamic terrorist group abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in 2014. Nkeki Mutah, chairman of the Chibok community in Abuja, told CNN he believes Pemi village was specifically targeted because it is a Christian-majority community.

“Since 2018, virtually every two weeks, Boko Haram has been attacking Chibok, killing and abducting people,” Mutah said. “They want to wipe Chibok out from the surface of the Earth.”

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Last month, Boko Haram fighters said they killed dozens of farm workers.

The decades-long Boko Haram insurgency has killed at least 36,000 people and displaced 2 million from their homes, according to the United Nations. The group whose name means “Western education is forbidden” (loosely translated) is fighting to overthrow the Nigerian government and create an Islamic state.

This is a developing story. Details are still coming in with information changing as more is reported. The death toll could rise, as reportedly, villagers fled into the bush and some are said to be still missing.

representative photos used for security reasons

Please pray with us now!

Father, it’s so difficult to hear about the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Nigeria. We ask You to be so near to our brothers and sisters in Pemi village today. God, Your people need Your presence and your comfort. We ask for Your comfort to surround these families who are grieving the loss of their loved ones and we pray you’ll bring peace and strength to those who were kidnapped and their families. Give those who are searching for them both insight and determination to find and rescue these believers. Jesus, give our family your peace in an area that has become such a target because Your name is proclaimed and worshiped there. We ask that You would give your people strength and the mettle to continue to follow you in the face of so much persecution for their faith. In Your Son’s name, we pray.

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