A Nigerian pastor was reportedly killed and his wife abducted for ransom by unknown assailants Sunday evening while traveling on a highway where being attacked by criminals has become a common occurrence.
The Punch reported Jeremiah Omolara, the pastor of Living Faith Church in Romi New Extension, a suburb of Kaduna state, was shot and killed when the attackers ambushed his vehicle on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway.
In addition to Omolara's wife, the couple's son was also in the vehicle. He was able to escape, according to news reports.
The assailants are demanding a ransom in the amount of more than $138,000 for the pastor's wife.
Omolara's murder and his wife's abduction were confirmed by Rev. Joseph Hayab, chairman of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Hayab urged the Nigerian government to tighten security in the state, according to to the Daily Post Nigeria.
He also told of how kidnappings in the Kaduna are on the rise, especially the abduction of clergy.
"Just last week a clergyman was attacked in Kasuwan Magani," Hayab explained. "The security man was killed immediately as they struggled to find their way into the house. Thank God, the gunmen could not gain entrance into the room."
He also added the daughter of a Baptist pastor was recently abducted and the kidnappers are demanding a huge ransom.
"Now the Living Faith Church pastor was killed along Kaduna-Abuja in the presence of his wife, who was later abducted," Hayab told the newspaper. "That tells you that the new trend is to attack us in our homes or in our churches or on the roads. We are just not safe anywhere and we are asking the same question we have been asking: 'Where are our security agencies?'"
"Are we being told tactically that we should defend ourselves?" he continued. "If we start defending ourselves, it means that we no longer have security or we no longer have government. Or is this government only for those they love and they don't care about others?"
"We don't want a situation where we will be forced to think of how to protect ourselves, we believe that government is there to protect us," Hayab concluded.
As CBN News has reported, hundreds of Christians have been killed in Nigeria by radical Islamic militias, including the Fulani herdsmen.
"Nigeria is now the deadliest place in the world to be a Christian," explained attorney Emmanuel Ogebe. "What we have is a genocide. They are trying to displace the Christians, they are trying to possess their land and they are trying to impose their religion on the so-called infidels and pagans who they consider Christians to be."
The Open Doors USA's 2019 World Watch List ranks Nigeria as the twelfth worst country in the world for Christian persecution.