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A rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Intersociety, has raised the alarm that Christianity and freedom of worship may die in Nigeria.

This is as the group alleged that more than 8, 200 defenceless Christians were hacked to death in 13 months of Jan 2023 to Jan 2024 and over 8,000 abducted.

It made the claim in a statement issued on Monday.

The statement was signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair, Intersociety, Chinwe Umeche, Head, Democracy and Good Governance Program, Obianuju Igboeli, Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Ndidiamaka Bernard, Head, International Justice and Human Rights, Ositadinma Agu, Head, International Contacts and Mobilization and Chidinma Udegbunam, Head, Campaign and Publicity.

According to the group, “Christianity, Jewish and Traditional Religions are most likely to disappear in Nigeria or any part thereof, particularly in mainland and outpost Igbo in the next 50 years.”

It said the adherents of the said religions may not freely practise their faith in the next 50 years.

“Apart from grave existential threats to freedom to practise religion or believe in Nigeria or any part thereof, Intersociety has also observed that over 80% of Christian leaders are hypocrites and fakers who are no longer true ‘defenders of faith’.

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“It has been generally observed that the ordeal or travail of the Nigerian Christians is fundamentally originated from the faith leaders who have abandoned ‘defence of faith’ to ‘defence of stomach’ by allowing dry quest for materialism and personal aggrandizements to dominate their supposedly divine calling.

“The International Freedom of Religion or Worship, otherwise called ‘First Freedom’ is facing a serious threat of extinction by violent and intolerant state actors and non-state actors in Nigeria or any part thereof.

“In Nigeria, according to Intersociety’s Special Report of Feb 14, 2024, more than 8, 200 defenceless Christians were hacked to death in 13 months of Jan 2023 to Jan 2024 and over 8,000 abducted, out of which 10% or 800 are not capable of returning to their families alive.

“Nigeria also recorded over 150, 000 religious related deaths since the July 2009 Boko Haram uprising, involving killing of at least 100, 000 defenceless Christians, 46,000 moderate Muslims.

“Not less than 4,000 deaths were drawn from non-Christian and non-Muslim faith members.

“Direct killings also accounted for not less than 100,000 deaths and indirect killings, including deaths arising from state actor and non-state custodial torture and shootings or hackings took the remaining 50,000 deaths.

“Between July 2009 and Jan 2024, not less than 19, 000 churches, including over 2000 sacred temples of the ‘African Instituted Churches’ and Jewish religion and over 1000 sanctuaries of the Traditional religionists were wantonly destroyed or burnt down.

“About 2,500 Christian schools and other sacred places of learning were also affected.

“In the first past four months of 2024 or Jan to April, the number of Christians killed and those abducted has risen to an estimated 800 and 1000 respectively.

“In all these, Benue, Plateau and Southern Kaduna have steadily remained the worst hit since June 2015, to the extent that in the past four years or 2020 to 2023, the three Christian-held States had lost not less than 24,000 defenceless Christians on a yearly average of 2,000 Christian deaths,” Intersociety alleged.

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