A jihadist insurgency affiliated with Boko Haram brutally murdered a Christian bride and her bridal party days before her wedding, a spokesperson for a Catholic diocese in Nigeria has confirmed.
Father Francis Arinse, the communications director for the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri, told the Catholic News Service that every member of the bridal party for former parishioner Martha Bulus was killed by Boko Haram extremists in Nigeria’s northeast Borno state.
Arinse said the bridal party was traveling from Maiduguri to Martha’s country home in Adamawa at the time they were killed. They were beheaded by the insurgents at Gwoza, Maiduguri.
According to Arinse, Martha used to attend St. Augustine Catholic Church in Maiduguri when he was first ordained.
Arinse also told the Catholic News Service that there have been a series of abductions in the Maiduguri area recently, and called on government agencies to improve security in northeast Nigeria.
In addition to Boko Haram and other extremists in the northeast, thousands of Christians are said to have been killed in Nigeria’s Middle Belt in recent years due to attacks carried out by nomadic Fulani herder radicals.
Recently, Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai challenged troops not to give terrorists “any breathing space.”
“That means you must go out at all times, day and night, whether rain or sunshine and make sure you deal with them,” Buratai was quoted as saying during a recent visit with troops in Adamawa state.
Nigeria ranks as the 12th-worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2019 World Watch List.