Nigerian pastor killed and family kidnapped

18 February 2019

A pastor was murdered and his family kidnapped after gunmen opened fire on their car on 7 February in Zamfara state, northern Nigeria.

Pastor Anthony Idris Jatau’s car skidded off the road in the attack, and he and his family were dragged out. The pastor’s body was found two days later, on 9 February, but the whereabouts of his wife, three children and two sisters-in-law are unknown at the time of writing.

According to a local source, the kidnappers are holding the children in separate locations and have demanded a ransom for the family’s release.

Pastor Jatau, his wife and family were travelling to take up a new ministry when they were attacked

The source said, “Everybody is sad at the moment and afraid for the lives of his family members. Security agencies are aware of the case but there is nothing yet.”

Pastor Jatau, who survived an earlier kidnapping in September 2006, was travelling from his ministry in Sokoto to a new posting in Katsina, about 250 miles away, when the attack happened.

Zamfara is notorious for kidnappings and attacks by Fulani herdsmen militia groups, who have terrorised Christian farming communities. Barnabas Fund patron Baroness Cox, who raised the issue of Fulani attacks in the House of Lords on 17 July 2018, says the militants are now so well armed that some believe they may be fighting a proxy war for Boko Haram, the Islamist militia that wants to drive out Christians from northern Nigeria.

Pray for the Fulani

Published by Julian Kennedy

Bus pass carrying 67 year old disciple of Jesus Christ. Member and deacon of Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, Ballymena. Married to Marianna. Son Joseph at home. Two daughters Marie Isabel and Kirsty in England. Enjoys keeping fit (including indoor rowing), watching track and field, nature and nature documentries. Got hip replacement in April 2014 and major surgery to re-align right knee in November 2017. Blessed in the Covenant love of God in Christ. Retired Emergency Medicine Specialty Doctor.

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