Church loses eight pastors, over 8000 members to Boko Haram insurgency
The Ekklesiyar Yan’uwaa Nigeria (EYN), also known as Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, has said it lost more than 8,370 members, including eight pastors, to the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.
EYN President, Joel Billi, who gave the statistics yesterday at a world news conference organised by the Dominion in Yola, Adamawa State, said 25,000 members of the church were currently taking refuge in neighbouring Cameroun, while more than 700,000 were in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps. Billi said the purpose of the news conference was to review and highlight the effects of insurgency and the state of the nation on the church’s activities.
The president regretted that the activities of the terrorists had affected more than 1.5 million members, and caused huge damage to the denomination’s places of worship in the North East zone.
“It could be recalled that EYN has lost over 8,370 members and eight pastors with the numbers increasing on a daily basis. Over 700,000 members are displaced and about 25, 000 are currently taking refuge in Cameroon and Chad Republics.
“About 300 of the 586 churches have been either burnt or destroyed with an uncountable number of houses belonging to our members looted or burnt too,” Billi added.
He claimed the EYN is the single Christian denomination worse hit by activities of the Boko Haram terrorists.
On the fight against the insurgency, the EYN president commended the renewed zeal by the military and other security agents in tackling the menace. He, however, called on the Federal Government and the state governments of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa to, as a matter of urgency, rescue the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls and reunite them safely with their families.
“I also call, with a loud voice, on the Federal Government, under President Muhammadu Buhari, to rescue Leah Sharibu, Alice Loksha and hundreds of others abducted by the Boko Haram,” he stated.