Gunmen in Nigeria reportedly kidnapped an evangelical pastor and 16 other Christians this week in an attack that also killed one person.
The incident happened in the Igabi local government area in Kaduna state.
Rev. Zakariah Ido and 16 members of the Evangelical Church Winning All, including the pastor’s daughter, two elders and the son of an Assemblies of God minister, were kidnapped after midnight in the early hours of Sunday.
A witness said the kidnappers were 20 to 30 armed Fulani extremists, a violent, mostly Islamic group that has carried out many attacks on Christians in Nigeria.
A witness said it happened as the church was hosting a combined choir fellowship.
A senior adviser on Nigerian issues for the non-profit International Crisis Group reports,
“Pastor, his daughter and 15 others #kidnapped in #Kaduna state, yesterday 19 May. Official church source says over 20 gunmen abducted Rev Zakariah Ido and others – 11 girls and 5 men – at ECWA #church premises.”
The Evangelical Church Winning All is said to have the largest mission organization of any African church, and has seen phenomenal growth, with some churches growing as much as 400% in the last several years.
The Nigerian press reports so far no contact has been established with the kidnappers.