Church Surrounded by Gunmen, Pastor, Daughter, and 15 Members Kidnapped in Nigeria

A Christian pastor, his daughter, and 15 church members were kidnapped late Sunday evening, May 19, in Unguwar Kuli village, near Kaduna State, Nigeria. One member of the Evangelical Church Winning All congregation was killed. Though no one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, authorities suspect the Fulani extremist group.

The Fulani extremists are comprised of mostly Islamists that concentrate on the middle belt of Nigeria. Ranked the fourth most violent extremist group in the world, they have carried out several attacks on Christians in that region. Nigeria has become increasingly volatile with violent attacks on Christians on the rise, and is ranked 12 for having the worst Christian persecution by Open Doors U.S.A.

The church members were enjoying a combined choir fellowship at 12:30 a.m. when the church building was surrounded by 20-30 armed men. The men demanded members show them the pastor’s residence. Members were forced to comply and led the men to the home where the pastor, Rev. Zakariah Ido, his daughter, and several members were abducted. Open Doors U.S.A. reports that the kidnappers are asking for N30 million in ransom ($83,100).

According to CBN News, the Evangelical Church Winning All is described as having the largest mission organization in Africa. It has been growing at a phenomenal rate at up to 400% in the past years.

Please pray for the safety of these brethren and their safe return. Also needing prayer are the Christians who are suffering in Nigeria as they daily face terrifying circumstances.

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