UK-Based Religious Entity Faults Closure of Christian Schools in Nigeria amid Abductions

Bethel High School in Nigeria's Kaduna State where around 140 students and staff were abducted on 5 July 2021/Credit: Public Domain

The leadership of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a UK-based human rights organization that works in areas experiencing religious persecution, has faulted closure of schools in Nigeria, most of them Christian educational facilities in the wake of attacks and abductions that target learning institutions in Kaduna State, in Northern Nigeria.

In a Thursday, July 8 report, the CEO of CSW, Scot Bower says that closure of schools is a short-term solution to a complicated crisis.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Kaduna state, who continue to bear the brunt of a critical security failure,” Mr. Bower says.

He adds, “The closures and withdrawal of children from educational facilities is a desperate measure, giving the unfortunate impression of an inability to address a situation that has been allowed to spiral inexorably. This decision is likely to hurt the education and future prospects of the students concerned, while merely offering a short-term solution to a phenomenon which is part of a statewide crisis requiring a comprehensive response.”

The Kaduna State Schools Quality Assurance Authority has ordered the closures of 13 schools, most of which belong to Christian denominations or organizations, which it has identified as being “vulnerable.”


The announced closure follows the abduction of staff and students from Bethel Baptist High School in the Chikun Local Government Area of Southern Kaduna.

A letter dated July 5and signed by the organization’s Director General states that the decision to close the schools was taken at a “meeting with the National Association of proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) and some key stakeholders.”  

Catholic-run St. Peter’s Minor Seminary in the Catholic Diocese of Kaduna is among the schools identified for closure.

Others include Deeper Life Academy in Maraban Rido, Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Secondary School in Ungwar Maje, and Bethel Baptist High School.

The leadership of CSW has reported that around 140 students and staff were abducted from Bethel Baptist High School after its premises were invaded at around 1.45 a.m. on July 5 by armed assailants, who struck on the day senior students were due to take their final examinations. 

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Four students are said to have managed to escape in the July 5 incident.

According to a statement released on July 5 by the office of the Commissioner for Police Kaduna State Command, 26 students and a female teacher were later rescued by a joint team of army, air force and police operatives, who continue to search for the remaining hostages.

A source that spoke to CSW has described Nigeria’s Kaduna State as being “under siege from kidnappers and other criminals.”

“The only people relatively safe are those within the city or (local government) headquarters,” the source told the UK-based entity.

The human rights organization makes reference to a BBC Pidgin report in which Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el Rufai, said that he had temporarily withdrawn his own children from the public school where they were enrolled due to safety concerns.


According to the organization, the Governor’s move already points to the dire situation in Africa’s most populous nation.

Making reference to the abductions, the leadership of CSW notes, “As the other attacks that occurred clearly illustrate, people are no longer safe in hospitals, let alone in their own homes.”

In a statement issued via a spokesperson, President Muhammadu Buhari has urged security agents to act swiftly to rescue those abducted from Bethel Baptist High School.