The Observatory of Religious Freedom in Africa (ORFA) has released two new reports showing a high number of killings and abductions across Nigeria from October 2022 – March 2023:
Combining the results of both reports, altogether 2,420 civilians and 4,383 security personnel or militants were killed. Of those civilians, 1625 were Christians, 690 were Muslims, 58 were adherents of ATR and 47 were unknown. Similarly, altogether 2,834 civilians and 8 security personnel or militants were abducted. Of those civilians, 1,543 were Christians, 1,245 were Muslims, 18 were adherents of ATR and 28 were unknown.
Frans Veerman, Managing Director of World Watch Research, comments: “The reports prepared by ORFA are unique in that they provide an insight into the religious background of those killed or abducted. In addition, the interactive maps on the ORFA website pinpoint the locations where these incidents took place. Together, these illustrate clearly how violence perpetrated by ‘Terror Groups’ (defined by ORFA as: Boko Haram, ISWAP, armed Fulani herders, bandits and other smaller groups) is impacting society throughout Nigeria. However, it is of utmost importance to consider the respective Christian and Muslim population levels in the different states: Only then does it become clear just how disproportionately affected Christians and their communities really are.”
Frans Veerman continues: “Both the maps and the new reports are surely a useful tool for national and international governments and NGOs to get a clearer picture of the state of insecurity in the country. Furthermore, they can be used to help find ways to better protect the civilian population, both Muslims and Christians, the latter being undeniably those most affected by the attacks.”