By Janelle P., Open Doors field report.
Open Doors estimates that more than 12,500 Christians have been killed in religion related violence in northern Nigeria between 2006 and 2014. Boko Haram violence has claimed most of the lives. It is also estimated that Boko Haram related violence has displaced more than 500,000 Christians in northern Nigeria.
For the past two years Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State in Nigeria’s northeast area, has suffered the brunt of the Boko Haram insurgency. It has been cut off from the outside world. But a lull in the violence made it possible for Open Doors representatives to visit the region last month. Their report follows:
“Security in Maiduguri remains tight. Because of continued suicide attacks, people are afraid to move around the city. This main street that had once been bustling with traffic was eerily quiet. The situation was the same on side streets. We visited a displaced people’s camp which Christians had set up for themselves. The government wants the Christians to live in camps shared with Muslims, but the leader of the camp explained that the Christians faced discrimination and provocation there. Under those circumstances, some Christians converted to Islam. This price was simply too high and so the Christians Association set up a camp for Christians. This circumstance is an illustration of the fact that the insurgency has not only succeeded in killing, injuring and displacing people, but has increased distrust among people of different faiths.
“The conditions in the camp are very hard for the almost 2,000 Christians who have found refuge. They live in squalid circumstances.