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Viewpoint: In Nigeria A Voice Cries in the Wilderness

He deserves to be heard and read.

By Dede Laugesen

Save the Persecuted Christians has for years been one of persecuted Nigerian Christians’ most ardent defenders. Over the years we have collaborated with many Nigerian human rights and religious freedom activists and groups to expose the religious persecution of Nigeria’s indigenous Christian landowners who are generally impoverished, subsistence farmers with no legal way to defend their properties and families.

I am devastated to learn of the preventable loss of 10 lives in North Central Nigeria since the start of August and especially of three fed-up protestors killed by soldiers who were videotaped shooting into the crowd.

Christians of North- and Middle Belt Nigeria are being subjected to violent extermination, forced exile, and the permanent loss of traditional lands and villages. Nothing is being done to stop it.

When the military responds, they are hours late or too short-handed to intervene. In the midst of gun battles, soldiers have been seen firing into the air rather than targeting or pursuing the attacking Fulani—the Muslim jihadists who terrorize the land in their bid to conquer and claim them for their historically nomadic clan. Many victims say some of the marauding Fulani are foreigners welcomed to Nigeria by the previous administration.

Mainstream Nigerian news outlets heavily influenced by government propaganda always refer to Fulani militants as ‘bandits,’ ‘kidnappers,’ and ‘outlaws’. That’s if they report on the violence at all, and that’s a very big ‘If’. The Fulani jihadists are all of these and more.

Rarely are the jihadists captured— and when they are, they are never prosecuted. It seems they operate with impunity and at least tacit approval, if not material support.

Few are brave enough to go see for themselves what is happening and attempt to report the facts objectively.

Masara Kim, an award winning conflict reporter, is one of the few determined to be a voice crying out in the wilderness for the rescue of a people and a land that he loves.

He is a reliable and resilient conflict- and atrocity investigative journalist now reporting for TruthNigeria. He is a man of remarkable courage. Other Nigerian journalists and human rights activists have found themselves arrested, prosecuted, and hunted by a government intent on suppressing the voice of the victims and using their suffering to grow rich and powerful. We are praying for Masara Kim and the staff at TruthNigeria and all those afflicted Nigerians whose stories must be told in truth.

—Dede Laugesen is executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians, founded in 2018 as an advocacy group to raise awareness about Christian persecution around the world.

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