The Black Lives that Don’t Matter: 50 Christians Murdered in Their Church

Black women is crying-Nigeria churchNigerian church attacked in 2018

Last Sunday, June 5, 2022, Islamic terrorists stormed the St. Francis Catholic Church in Ondo, Nigeria, and massacred more than 50 Christians who were otherwise peacefully worshipping their God.  Videos, according to one report, “showed church worshippers lying in pools of blood while people around them wailed.”

As terrible as this massacre might seem, it is just the proverbial “tip of the iceberg”: over the years, Muslims have assaulted, shot up, or torched countless churches in Nigeria.  Below are just three other examples:

  • Easter Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014: Islamic terrorists torched a packed church; 150 Christians were killed and countless injured.
  • Easter Sunday, Apr. 8, 2012: explosives planted by Muslims detonated near two packed churches; more than 50 Christians were killed and unknown numbers injured.
  • Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2011: Muslim terrorists shot up and bombed three churches; 37 Christians were killed, 57 injured.

The Christians of Nigeria are, in fact, being purged in a genocide, according to several NGOs (here and here, for instance). One Christian is killed every two hours in Nigeria.  According to an August 2021 report, since the Islamic insurgency began in earnest in July 2009— first at the hands of the Islamic terrorist organization Boko Haram, and later by Fulani, Muslim herdsmen, also motivated by jihadist ideology to seize Christian (“infidel”) land—more than 60,000 Christians have either been murdered during raids, or abducted, never to be seen again. During this same timeframe, approximately 20,000 churches and Christian schools were torched and destroyed by “Allahu Akbar” screaming Muslims.

Less than a month ago, the Islamic State in Nigeria released a video of its members slaughtering 20 Christians.  Although it is very reminiscent of the 2015 video of another pack of Muslim terrorists slaughtering 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, it received significantly less media coverage.  The 2015 video of the Copts itself had received six times less media coverage than the killing of a gorilla which occurred at the same time. Last month’s more recent video of the Nigerian Christians barely made a peep in the Western media—as if to suggest that the ritual slaughter of Christians has become so hackneyed as to be unworthy of reporting on.

The silence is, as they say, deafening. When an Australian, Brenton Tarrant, attacked two mosques and killed 51 Muslims in 2019 in New Zealand, the world stood up in condemnation; the handwringing has not stopped since.  The United Nations responded to that lone and aberrant attack by inaugurating a “combat Islamophobia” initiative. Where, after years and decades of being attacked, are the UN initiatives to “combat anti-Semitism” and to “combat Christian genocide”?

Nigerian Christians mourning after another fatal church attack in 2018

All the UN seems interested in doing is ignoring violations of its own laws by its own members, such as Iran’s genocidal threats which violate the UN Charter and are grounds for expelling Iran; ignoring crimes against humanity by many of its members, such as slavery (here and here) or China’s lies about the human-to-human transmissibility of its corona virus. Instead, the UN wrongfully persecutes into eternity Israel, a democracy that actually protects and upholds human rights for all its citizens—whether Muslim, Jewish, or Christian.

So what will the UN and other large governmental bodies do now in response to the shooting up of a church and killing of more than 50 Christians? Absolutely nothing—that is, except try to shut up those who expose the driving ideology of the murderers.  And we know this because the UN et. al. have done absolutely nothing in response to the countless other Muslim attacks on churches that have claimed thousands of Christian lives over the years—except to try and shut up those who expose the driving ideology of the murderers (aka “combat Islamophobia”).

Indeed, just two weeks ago, when Members of the European Parliament, one of the European Union’s legislative bodies, submitted a proposal to have a discussion on the rising tide of Christian persecution around the world—ironically, in the context of the then latest atrocity in Nigeria: the stoning and burning to death of a Christian student, Deborah Samuel—the majority of the European Parliament, most of whom are affiliated with Leftist parties, refused even to have the discussion.

Ignoring the murder of Christian lives is, of course, only one piece of the puzzle; covering up the religious identity of their murderers is the other.    In describing  last Sunday’s massacre of more than 50 Nigerian Christians, the words “Muslim,” “Islam,” or even “Islamist” never appeared in the AP report. Rather, we are told that “It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack on the church.”  To maintain this ambiguity, the AP omits pointing out that Islamic terrorists have routinely stormed churches and slaughtered many Christians over the years in Nigeria—a fact that might just offer a hint as to “who was behind the attack.”  But dissembling over what is happening to Nigeria’s Christians is an old “mainstream media” tactic (as discussed in this 2011 article).

One need only consider the words of Johnnie Carson, Obama’s then- Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, speaking after Muslim terrorists in Nigeria slaughtered another batch of 50 Christian church worshippers on Easter Sunday, 2012: “I want to take this opportunity to stress one key point and that is that religion is not driving extremist violence [in Nigeria].”  Instead, “inequality” and “poverty”—to quote former President William Jefferson Clinton—are “what’s fueling all this stuff” (“this stuff” being the massacre of Christians at the hands of Muslims).  A decade—and countless Christian corpses later—the U.S. has not changed its position.

Worse, the Biden administration’s response to the jihadist onslaught against Christians in Nigeria—where 13 Christians are slaughtered every day—has been to remove Nigeria from the State Department’s list of Countries of Particular Concern, that is, nations which engage in, or tolerate violations of, religious freedom.

Where is the outcry? Where is the outrage? Where are the “hashtags” in support of Christian Nigerians?  Why don’t these black lives matter?

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Raymond Ibrahim

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Raymond Ibrahim
Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum. Facebook: Twitter: @RaymondIbrahim5