Scores of students kidnapped from Christian school in Nigeria

6 July 2021

Scores of students were kidnapped when gunmen stormed a Christian boarding school on 5 July in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

Police have not revealed the exact number of students abducted in the early hours from Bethel Baptist High School, but a contact told Barnabas that the figure could be as high as 140. At least 26 students and a female teacher were later rescued by police.

Parents have gathered at Bethel Baptist High School to pray for the safe return of the students

Parents have gathered at Bethel Baptist High School to pray for the safe return of the students

As details of the kidnapping emerged, parents gathered at the school to pray for the safe release of the children. “This is a very, very sad situation for us,” said Pastor Joseph Hayab, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Kaduna Chapter, whose son narrowly escaped the kidnappers.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari described the abduction as cowardly and despicable. In a statement he expressed concern over a “disturbing” wave of student kidnappings, mostly in northern states, which he said were threatening to undermine efforts to boost school enrolments.

In May 2021, gunmen released the last 29 out of 39 students, mostly Christians, who were kidnapped from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Kaduna State after almost two months in captivity.

From Barnabas Fund contacts and other sources

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Nigeria