Nigerian extremists released video of a pastor pleading for help after members of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) kidnapped him and two Christian women on Oct. 19.
According to the International Christian Concern, Rev. Polycarp Zongo of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) urges Gov. Simon Lalong, state Sen. I.D. Gyang, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and COCIN to assist in his release.
"On Monday, 19 October 2020, I was traveling to Gombe for a church conference when we encountered the caliphate's armed men who captured me along the way, and right now I'm with them," said the pastor. "They too captured two Christian women who are also here with me. I'm appealing that you all do all that is possible to secure our release from captivity."
Rev. Zongo adds that the two women are with him.
Acts of violence against Christians in West Africa have risen this year and show no signs of stopping.
CBN News previously reported that at least 33 people were killed in attacks by Islamic extremists on five Christian communities in the southern Kaduna state of Nigeria in August.
That same month, Muslim Fulani militants in Kachia County killed four Christians and kidnapped their driver as their vehicle made its way from a Katul village in Nigeria.
And in October, an American missionary was abducted in the middle of the night by six gunmen armed with assault rifles in southern Niger close to the border with Nigeria.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, has blamed the intractable violence on an "evil combination of politically-motivated banditry, revenge killings, and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds."
Nigeria is ranked 12th on Open Doors' 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution but second in the number of Christians killed for their faith.
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