At least 19 persons including two priests were killed when suspected Fulani herdsmen opened fire at a Church in Ayar Mbalom community of Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria. Four Bishops of Nigeria’s Middle Belt described the attacks as, “horrendous, barbaric and satanic.” The herdsmen launched the deadly attack on parishioners towards the end of early morning Mass.

The Nigerian Bishops are convinced that terrorists and mercenaries have infiltrated Fulani herdsmen. They wondered how these attacks could continue to happen in broad-daylight and perpetrators almost always never brought to account for their deeds. The Bishops say that the world needs to pay attention to what is happening in the Middle Belt of Nigeria where those under attack are predominantly minority Christians.

In the end, the Bishops said as pastors and shepherds they want to encourage the people, priests and religious not to lose hope. “We are a people of the Resurrection and we have hope.”