Militant Muslims with the terrorist group Boko Haram reportedly murdered a Nigerian pastor on Monday after holding him captive for several weeks.
According to reports, the group beheaded Pastor Lawan Andimi, who led the Christian Association of Nigeria, whom they had kidnapped in Michika on Jan. 3. The reverend can be seen praising God and refusing to deny his faith in a ransom video shot and released by the terrorist group before his death.
"“By the grace of God, I will be together with my wife and my children and all my colleagues,” Andimi said in the video. “If the opportunity has not been granted, maybe it is the will of God.”
A source told the U.S.-based nongovernmental organization Save the Persecuted Christians that Andimi’s family was notified about the pastor’s death by the CAN office in the Adamawa state on Monday.
“They have slaughtered him in Sambisa forest,” a source told Save the Persecuted Christians, according to the nonprofit's Executive Director Dede Laugesen. “They murdered him because he refused to renounce his faith. And because they couldn’t raise the money for his ransom.”
Andimi’s death is just the latest in a recent uptick of attacks on Christians perpetrated by Boko Haram and other Muslim groups.
The terrorists are suspected in the Dec. 26, 2019, murder of a Christian woman and her two bridesmaids as they traveled from Borno to Adamawa for her wedding, ordering the women from a vehicle and beheading them as they professed Christianity, Morning Star News reported Jan. 13.
"Martha [Bulus] and her two friends were indeed killed by Boko Haram at Gwoza as they were traveling back to her hometown, but they were not the only Christian victims that were killed on that day along the Maiduguri-Yori Highway," Morning Star News quoted pastor Naga Williams Mohammed, chairman of the Borno State chapter of CAN. "Eight other Christians were also killed on that spot on the same day, but at different times."
Boko Haram also admitted to beheading 11 Christians in Borno on Christmas Eve.
The attacks come amid a massive – and largely ignored – genocide of Christians throughout Nigeria led by Boko Haram and Fulani Muslims. More than 1,000 Nigerian Christians were estimated to have been killed by Islamic militants last year alone, with countless more wounded or displaced by the ongoing attacks.