Father Panachy Longinus Ogbede was speaking to ACN following extremist Islamist attacks, including the beheading of 10 Christians on Christmas Day 2019 and members of a wedding party the following day. The horrors for the Church continued into 2020. Around 400 Christians were killed during the first three months of 2020 as villages were attacked, churches burnt and Christians abducted – one kidnapped seminarian, 18-year-old Michael Nnadi, was killed.
At the seminarian’s funeral in February 2020, Bishop Matthew Kukah said:
“This death is a metaphor for the fate of all Christians in Nigeria but especially northern Nigeria. For us Christians, it would seem safe to say that we are all marked men and women today. Yet, we must be ready to be washed in the blood of the lamb.”
Attacks continued: in April, 32 Christians in Kaduna and Plateau States were slaughtered in their homes as they observed a COVID-19 lockdown.
This is why ACN has responded in love with projects including trauma care for victims of Islamists, ongoing support for communities under attack and rebuilding churches destroyed by extremists, so that the light of Christ can shine ever more brightly in the darkness of their lives.