Christians in Nigeria terrorized by deadly occult groups

Christians in Nigeria not only have to deal with violent attacks from the Islamic extremist Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen, but they are also now being terrorized by occult groups that engage in ritual killings.

(REUTERS / Akintunde Akinleye)An aerial view shows the central business district in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos, April 7, 2009.

On Nov. 26, members of an occult group called Badoo killed Redeemed Christian Church of God pastor Victor Kanayo in Offin, Igbogbo, in Lagos state early in the morning while his family slept. The attack left his wife Gloria and their 10-month-old child with severe injuries, Morning Star News detailed.

"Around 7 a.m., at Offin, Igbogbo, Lagos, a suburb of Ikorodu town, one Victor Kanayo, a male person and a pastor, was murdered," Lagos State Police spokesman Chike Oti said on Nov. 29 during a press briefing. "The command has made a couple of arrests, and suspects are being questioned with a view to discover the author of the heinous crime."

The Daily Post Nigeria named the arrested suspects as Ibrahim Anifowose, Uche Igwe, Abubakar Tenimu, and Abdulrazaq Yahyaha. The four suspected Badoo members were taken from their hideouts along Aremu Street in Ojota.

Imohimi Edgal, the state Commissioner of Police, presented the four arrested suspects to the public. He vowed that it would be the last time that the individuals would be called Badoo cult members, branding them instead as "hoodlums and murderers."

Just a week before Pastor Kanayo was murdered, suspected Badoo members killed a woman named Iyabo Alaba and her two young children inside the Celestial Church of Christ in Lagos city. Church member Adesina Idowu told the publication that the family lived in the building.

The occult killings have led police to ban night worship services in Lagos city. Edgal said they would only allow churches to hold night vigils if they make adequate security arrangements to protect the people who attend their services.

In addition, Edgal warned churches against holding night vigils in isolated areas, saying worshippers must be gathered in protected structures. He also said the pastor will be charged with murder if another member is killed inside the church.