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For decades, Nigerian Christians — especially Catholics — have been suffering at the hands of corrupt Islamic militants and corrupt government officials.
On Easter Sunday, Christians were assaulted by both State forces and violent separatists.
In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Aidan O'Connor talks about what happened.
Violence rocked southern Nigeria on Easter Sunday. State-sponsored security forces fought with a separatist group, and innocent civilians of Imo State were caught in the crossfire.
The number of the dead has not yet been reported, but people are still searching for their missing loved ones.
A witness told the Nigerian press, "The gunmen became enraged and started shooting sporadically. They were in a gun battle with the soldiers from Sunday morning till evening."
Another witness revealed, "They killed so many people. It started while we were in the church, but we had to run back home."
Before Easter, there were outbreaks of violence in other parts of Nigeria.
As many as 150 people were killed by Fulani Muslim bandits on Easter in central Nigeria.
A witness recounts: "So many people were killed, and right now, nobody can tell exactly the number of houses that were razed down by fire as a result of their heartlessness."
Following the attacks, International Christian Concern — the ICC — wrote "Radicalized and armed Islamist Fulani have killed tens of thousands of Christians and left more than 3 million homeless in a 20-year genocide against them."
But the problem is bigger than just the Fulani herdsmen.
The ICC continues, "In Nigeria, the military, the police and the intelligence agencies are all controlled by Muslims. This, coupled with a 20-year lack of response by these agencies, should naturally lead to deeper questioning by the world community."
Open Doors, another organization monitoring Christian persecution around the world, rates Nigeria as the seventh most violent country for Christians.
In its latest report, it names Islamic oppression, ethno-religious hostility and dictatorial paranoia as the top three reasons for persecution.
According to Open Doors, "Persecution in Nigeria is brutally violent. In much of northern Nigeria, Christians live under constant threat and are specifically targeted because of their faith."
Nigerian Christians have been begging the West for assistance, but they've gotten little more than silence or empty promises.
When Boko Haram kidnapped 300 Christian schoolgirls in 2016, the Obama administration promised intelligence assistance but only under the condition that sodomy be legalized in Nigeria.
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