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Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

Terrorists Kill 16 Christians in Kaduna State, Nigeria

  • 2023Sep 29

ABUJA, Nigeria (Morning Star News

Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists this week killed 15 Christians in Kaduna state, Nigeria, following the slaying of another one last week, sources said.

The assailants on Wednesday (Sept. 27) attacked predominantly Christian Angwan Magaji village, Kauru County, killing three Christians, after attacking Kigam village on Tuesday, where three others were slain, said Abel Habila Adamu, an area community leader.

The terrorists also wounded four others in the two villages, he said.

“We are saddened to inform you with a heavy heart about a resurgence of attacks on Christians by the armed Fulani herdsmen and terrorists,” Adamu said in a text message to Morning Star News. “Indeed, our land is bleeding, and the blood of innocent Christians cries profusely for justice.”

Adamu, president of the Chawai Development Association, identified the slain in the two villages as Martina Ishaya, 55; Sunday Gizindi, 55; Danjuma Alah, 35; Joseph Baza Dauda, 23; Danladi Yakubu, 57; and Simon Chibi, 33.

He identified those wounded by gunshot as Yohanna Anoh Ishaya, 27; Gado Monday Kiri, 53; Victor Timothy, 23; and John Auta.

“This has clearly shown that our land is indeed under siege by our enemies, terrorists, and herdsmen,” Adamu said.

He appealed to the Nigerian government to urgently end incessant attacks on Christians in Kaduna state as well as in other parts of the country where terrorist acts have become endemic.

“Considering how sacrosanct life is to any human society, we condemn these killings and hereby reiterate the fact that the attacks are quite detestable to our peaceful society and people,” Adamu said. “We call on government at all levels to approach security matters with utmost sincerity and honesty as well as charge security heads to be more proactive in dealing with security matters concerning our land.”

Assailants on Tuesday (Sept. 26) also attacked predominantly Christian Takkanai village, Zangon Kataf County, killing six Christians and wounding four others, area residents said.

“The herdsmen, who were well armed with guns and other deadly weapons, attacked the village at about 7 p.m. as the villagers were getting ready to go to sleep. Among those killed are two children,” Samson Markus, a community leader in Zangon Kataf, told Morning Star News in a text message.

Samuel Achi, president of the Atyap Community Development Association, also identified the assailants as “Fulani herdsmen bandits” and said they set fire to two houses.

“The bandits operated for over an hour before leaving the community,” Achi said in a text message.

In Kauru County, herdsmen on Monday (Sept. 25) attacked Kigam village, killing three Christians and wounding three others, an area resident said. Robert Dodo said the attack occurred at about 9 p.m.

“The bandits shot at anyone they sighted as the villagers fled from their homes to escape being killed,” Dodo told Morning Star News in a text message.

In Chikun County, terrorists on Sept. 19 invaded predominantly Christian Mararaban Rido village, kidnapping six persons and later killing another Christian on Saturday (Sept. 23), said area resident Alheri Magaji.

She said the Sept. 19 attack took place at about 1 a.m.

“The house of a member of the Christian community of Mararaban Rido was invaded by bandits, and two members of that family were kidnapped and are being held captive,” Magaji told Morning Star News in a text message.

The assailants also kidnapped another woman and her three children, and on Saturday (Sept. 23) at about 8:30 p.m., returned and killed another villager, unidentified, she said.

“My heart is broken into a thousand pieces; please pray for us,” Magaji said.

Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith in 2022, with 5,014, according to Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List (WWL) report. It also led the world in Christians abducted (4,726), sexually assaulted or harassed, forcibly married or physically or mentally abused, and it had the most homes and businesses attacked for faith-based reasons. As in the previous year, Nigeria had the second most church attacks and internally displaced people.

In the 2023 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to sixth place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 7 the previous year.

“Militants from the Fulani, Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and others conduct raids on Christian communities, killing, maiming, raping and kidnapping for ransom or sexual slavery,” the WWL report noted. “This year has also seen this violence spill over into the Christian-majority south of the nation… Nigeria’s government continues to deny this is religious persecution, so violations of Christians’ rights are carried out with impunity.”

Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) noted in a 2020 report.

“They adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity,” the APPG report states.

Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam, as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.  

If you or your organization would like to help enable Morning Star News to continue raising awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide with original-content reporting, please consider collaborating at

Photo Courtesy:  ©Getty Images/Omersukrugoksu

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Teenager in Uganda Locked Up and Starved for Becoming Christian

  • 2023Sep 28

NAIROBI, Kenya, September 28, 2023 (Morning Star News) – An evangelistic team in eastern Uganda this month discovered a Muslim had locked up his son and starved him for more than four months for accepting Christ, sources said.

Musobya Aramanzani of Nankoma, Bugiri District learned that his 17-year-old son had accepted Christ earlier this year after hearing preaching in Iganga. His son was attending a boarding school in Iganga, a teacher at the school phoned Aramanzani to report the conversion, and the boy was locked up upon a return visit home, an area pastor said.

The pastor learned of the abuse on Sept. 15 during evangelistic home visits in Nankoma. He said the previous day Aramanzani did not allow him and other Christians engaged in an evangelistic campaign that week to enter his property, and the team learned from area residents that he had locked his son inside for more than four months for converting to Christianity.

The team returned on Sept. 15, and the pastor pleaded to be granted a few minutes to pray for the family; they were given five minutes, he said.

“As we were praying, there was a very strong, bad smell in the house,” said the pastor, whose name is withheld for security reasons. “Since we were many, we forcefully entered the inner room where the smell was coming from and found a teenage boy in a dilapidated state.”

A photo of the boy obtained by Morning Star News shows him in a starving condition with skin clinging to bones. Team members forcibly took the teenager, whose name is withheld for security reasons, to a nearby hospital for treatment while the pastor and others remained with the Muslim family.

Aramanzani told the pastor and his team that when his son returned home, he and other relatives tied him up and denied him food because he had “become a Christian by making a public confession, which was disgrace to our family. The message reached us through his teachers at Ibun Baz secondary school in Iganga, where our son was schooling. His teacher called us over the phone and told us about him joining Christianity.”

At the hospital, the pastor said, the boy was able to utter only a few words about his mistreatment. The pastor said he learned from his mother that she had provided him with water while he was locked up.

“The mother used to sneak in with only water, but when her son fell sick, she didn’t bring him medicine but insulted him by calling him an infidel to the family religion, and that he should die,” the pastor told Morning Star News.

Aramanzani later repented of the cruelty and other sins and put his faith in Christ, the pastor said.

“He persuaded us not to report the incident to the police,” the pastor said. “The situation at the moment is very delicate, because the father risks to be arrested, and at the same time he is a new Christian. We first need to treat the suffering young man, then later discuss with the family the next course of action.”

The abuse was the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.

Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.

If you or your organization would like to help enable Morning Star News to continue raising awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide with original-content reporting, please consider collaborating at

Article originally published by Morning Star News. Used with permission.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pawel Gaul

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'Did Jesus Teach Hell Is Real?' Apologist Explains Biblical Reality of a 'Literal Hell'

  • 2023Sep 27

Hell is a topic many tend to avoid, yet the questions surrounding its existence, what the Bible proclaims, and what the afterlife entails are essential to ask, answer, and ponder.

It’s a subject apologist Jason Jimenez of Stand Strong Ministries recently tackled on his “Challenging Conversations Podcast,” explaining the ins and outs of the “reality of hell” and detailing why many people find the notion of being separated from God for eternity “very disturbing.”

“This idea of being tormented in eternal agony, this isn’t something people like to think about, let alone talk about,” Jimenez said. “That’s why, most of the time, we don’t bring it up. Most of the time, we want to rule it out altogether.”

Of course, heaven — the idea of a pain-free place where people spend eternity with the Lord — is much more accepted, celebrated, and talked about. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found 67% of Americans believe in heaven, with a lower percentage — 59% — embracing the idea of a literal hell.

But what does the Bible actually tell us about the less palatable concept of eternal damnation?

“Hell … if you look at the totality of Scripture, it’s a place that will last forever,” Jimenez said, noting it’s a place devoid of God and filled with people who have rejected Jesus. “I do believe that Jesus believed in a literal hell, and he taught it emphatically.”

Listen to Jimenez explain what Jesus said about hell and the afterlife:

Yet other groups take a different position on hell. Jimenez noted some believe in annihilationism, rejecting hell and instead opting for a scenario under which people who reject Christ are simply “extinguished” after death.

Another group that accepts the concept of hell believes it might not persist in an everlasting sense and might, at some point, come to an end.

Jimenez explored these different perspectives on “Challenging Conversations,” offering a detailed analysis of beliefs.

But after exploring these ideas, he then looked at Scripture to explain his position. One of the areas he explored was Genesis 5:24, when Enoch doesn’t die and is “caught up.” The NIV version of the verse reads, “Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”

Jimenez made his point that Jewish thought was clearly rooted in a belief in an afterlife, including hell. He then transitioned into New Testament thought, exploring Jesus’ ideas and teachings. He noted the Bible clearly teaches “Jesus existed prior to coming into the world.”

“Where did he come from?” Jimenez asked. “He came from the abode of God. He came from the dwelling on high. So, he came from heaven.”

The apologist then asked why some believe Jesus dismissed the notion of hell, specifically for those who reject him, pondering, “Why would we assume or conclude that Jesus didn’t believe in a literal hell that is everlasting for those who reject him if he believed in a literal heaven?”

In light of New Testament teachings and Jesus’ words, Jimenez naturally pondered where Christ would believe people go if they choose to reject the Lord and aren’t permitted into heaven.

“If Jesus believed in a literal heaven, but he didn’t believe in a literal hell, where do people go that reject him if he told us where people go that receive him?” he asked. “And knowing that not all people will receive him.”

Jimenez continued, “All mankind needs to be saved. Well, the Bible says that God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. But we’re born in sin, and we have free will to choose whether or not we want to receive his forgiveness.”

Under this paradigm, people would choose whether they want to believe in and embrace the Lord. The penalty for not choosing Him would, thus, need to be considered.

“Jesus, on many occasions, spoke of post-mortem eternal life with him in heaven, where he ascended,” Jimenez added, noting Christ was also clear about hell. “If you listen now to what Jesus actually says about hell, look at Matthew 5:22.”

That verse reads, “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell” (NIV).

Jimenez emphasized Christ’s mention of the “hell of fire,” noting this idea is reiterated and reinforced in other places in Scripture. The apologist explained why he believes this is far more than an earthly reference — one that warns of “eternal damnation” for those rejecting Jesus.

Another location in Scripture Jimenez looked to is Matthew 10:28, which reads, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (NIV).

This, too, he argued is making the case of a dangerous afterlife for those denying the Lord.

“If we love people, we will warn them of eternal damnation if they reject Jesus,” Jimenez concluded.

Listen to the full episode for more on the subject, and listen to all of the powerful episodes of “Challenging Conversations”:

Get More Uplifting Stories From Journalist and Author Billy Hallowell

Article published with permission from Billy Hallowell.

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Billy Hallowell is a journalist, commentator and digital TV host who has covered thousands of the biggest faith and culture stories. He's written more than 14,000 stories on faith, culture and politics, has interviewed hundreds of celebrities, authors and influencers and is the author of four books.

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