A pastor who was kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen last month in northern Nigeria has reportedly been killed by his captors.
The death of Rev. Dauda Bature of the First Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Hayin Narayi, Kaduna state, was announced Sunday on Facebook.
The gunmen abducted Rev. Bature on Nov. 8 while he was working on his farm in Ungwan Kanti village, Morning Star News reports.
Bature's wife was also kidnapped by the herdsmen when she delivered a ransom payment 10 days after her husband's abduction. She was released on Dec. 6.
Leaders with ECWA were informed of Bature's death last week.
"On Thursday, Dec. 9, the pastor's captors called his church leaders, ECWA, and informed them that they had killed the pastor since they could not bring more money," the Rev. Joseph Hayab, chairman of the Kaduna state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), told Morning Star News in a text message.
Hayab said Rev. Bature preached the Gospel to the herdsmen and prayed for their repentance which may have angered them and likely provoked them to kill him.
"This is really a sober moment for us," said area resident Anthony Abednego.
ECWA member, Ishaya Musa said, "The death of Rev. Bature came as a rude shock to us at the ECWA Hayin Narayi, under Tudun Wada Local Church Council (LCC) of Kaduna ECWA Central District."
The Fulani herdsmen, also known as the Fulani militia, are often radical Muslims who target Christians in their relentless attacks on villages across the West African country.
They were early converts to Islam, participating in holy wars, or jihads, in the 16th century that established them as a dominant social and economic force in Western Africa, according to WorldWatch Monitor.
Nigeria is ranked 9th on Open Doors' 2021 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.
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