Christian Leaders in Nigerian State Paint Grim Picture of “severe attacks by bandits”

Pastor John Joseph Hayab, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State. Credit: CAN

Christian leaders in Nigeria’s Kaduna State under the auspices of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have painted a grim picture of “severe” banditry attacks, which they say have resulted in the death of Pastors and the closure of churches in recent years. 

In a Wednesday, September 13 report, the Chairman of CAN in Kaduna State, Pastor John Joseph Hayab, says, “In four years, the church has come under severe attacks by bandits and other criminal elements in Kaduna State where we lost 23 pastors and over 200 churches were shut down.”

“A pastor who was kidnapped on 8th August 2023, told the CAN leadership that there are over 215 Christians abducted by the bandits in Birnin Gwani forest,” Pastor Hayab adds.

According to the official of the Nigerian Christian entity that includes representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), the Commissioner of Police of Kaduna State has been served with a report on the effects of insecurity on the church in the Nigerian State that has been described as the “epicenter of kidnapping and banditry activity”.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a UK-based human rights foundation, has indicated that that Nigeria’s Kaduna State continues to experience alarming levels of violence despite being the headquarters of 11 military installations.


Statistics released by TheCable Index earlier last year indicated that the Nigerian State was among the country’s States with the highest number of reported deaths in 2021.

In June this year, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) report ranked Kaduna State third among States that had experienced Christian killings in May alone.

The intersociety report titled, “Farewell Gifts to Buhari,” indicated that “700 Christians were “Slaughtered In May, 1,100 In 60 Days, And 2,150 In 160 Days Of 2023”.

“The Nigerian radical Islamic leaders who marked the end of their civilian office tenures on 29th May 2023 were wished farewell by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen who marked the end of their office tenures by slaughtering not less than 700 defenseless Christians in May 2023 (month of handover),” the intercity report further indicated. 

In the September 13 report, the Chairman of CAN in Kaduna State urges the Commissioner of police to look into the challenge of banditry “among many others holistically to build the confidence of the people once again.”

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Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.