According to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), over 200 churches have been closed and 23 pastors have been slain as a result of bandit attacks in some sections of Kaduna State over the last four years.
Reverend Joseph Hayab, the Chairman of the CAN in Kaduna State, revealed the data during a confidence-building meeting with Christian leaders from the state’s 23 Local Government Areas and the state Commissioner of Police, Musa Garba.
“Let me tell you, Commissioner, that over 200 churches in Kaduna have been closed down.” The Baptists have closed over 115 churches from Birni Gwari to Chukun and Kajuru; the churches are no longer in operation.
“If you go to many churches now, you will see many pastors who came from churches that were closed down because they couldn’t continue; that is the type of situation we are in.”
“ECWA can tell you about hundreds of their churches, including the Assemblies of God, the Catholic Church, and many others.” As a result, we are obliged to close due to insecurity in Kaduna State, according to the Kaduna CAN Chairman.
Other speakers at the conference urged the police commissioner to follow through on his remarks by apprehending the bandits and to consider penalising religious leaders who deliver hate sermons and speeches.
Banditry and terrorism have had a wide-ranging impact on Kaduna State communities, claiming hundreds of innocent lives and destroying property worth millions of naira, including places of worship.
This is in addition to the massive humanitarian catastrophe caused by thousands of internally displaced people, whose livelihoods have also been interrupted by criminal activity.