A 6-year-old Christian boy, Isaiah Okunu, was abducted from his home by Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria’s Nasarawa state two weeks ago and remains in captivity, according to report by Morning Star News.
The herdsmen first killed Isaiah’s father on Oct. 24 and then abducted his mother, who was released five days later.
Council Chairman of Nasawara Local Government Area Mohammed Sani Otto said the herdsmen are demanding 3 million naira ($7,845 US dollars) for Isaiah’s release, The Morning Star reported.
Isaiah and his family are members of the Evangelical Church Winning All, making them likely targets for persecution in a country that is ranked as the 12th worst country for Christian persecution on Open Doors’ 2020 Watch List.
Nigerian Christians face ongoing persecution from militant herdsmen, Boko Haram, and the Islamic State of West Africa.
“[Islamic terrorists] use some of the captured Christians for negotiations with the Nigerian government to get more funds for their arms and operations. In cases when such negotiations fail, the male Christian victims are often executed and the women are held as sex slaves,” the report said.
Around the world, 260 million Christians are experiencing high levels of persecution for their faith, according to Open Doors.
This is a 6 percent increase from 2019.