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U.S. President tells Nigerian counterpart attacks on churches must stop

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President of United States of America Donald Trump has told his Nigerian counterpart to take effective steps to prevent attacks on churches in Nigeria. The Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari called on his U.S. counterpart on April 29 at the White House.

Persecution of Christians in Nigeria

Addressing the media in a joint press conference, U.S. President Donald Trump said: “We are deeply concerned by religious violence in Nigeria including the burning of churches and the killing and persecution of Christians. It’s a horrible story”.

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“We encourage Nigeria and the federal state and local leaders to do everything in their power to immediately secure the affected communities and to protect innocent civilians of all faiths including Muslims and including Christians”, he said. At the same time, praising the efforts of the Nigerian President to fight terror groups like ISIS and Boko Haram.

Nonetheless, the Fulani herdsmen have emerged as the deadliest amongst the terror threats. The Nigerian President has currently been facing criticism for being able to do enough to stop rising and ongoing violence perpetrated by the Fulani herdsmen.

Just a day before, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) held national protests “asking the federal government and the security agencies to stop the unending killings and bloodshed in the country.” Nigeria’s Christian leaders maintain that the fact that President Buhari comes from Fulani family, is the reason that he has not done enough to curb the violence from Fulani militants.

Nigeria’s Catholic bishops accused President Buhari to step down on the pretext of weak leadership displayed by him. “Whether this failure is due to inability to perform or lack of political will, it is time for him to choose the path of honor and consider stepping aside to save the nation from total collapse.”

“In the past year alone, Open Doors received reports from its in-country sources of at least 611 deaths in the latest spike of militant Fulani unrest. These attacks played out in more than 50 incidents, where churches and homes were burned and residents were violently murdered, raped, and kidnapped.

The situation is now growing even worse, with 497 more deaths already reported to Open Doors in the first four months of 2018. Yet, unlike Boko Haram, the ongoing and wide-sweeping violence of the militant Fulani herdsmen has gone relatively unnoticed”, President of Open Doors USA wrote in a recent USA Today op-ed. Open Doors is a leading Christian persecution watchdog monitoring persecution of Christians across the globe.