Moses Joseph grew up in a Christian family that attended church every Sunday and read daily devotions together in their home in southern Kaduna state, Nigeria. Although the region has been plagued by attacks from Fulani Islamic militants, 17-year-old Moses had never been concerned.
“I never thought I would experience persecution,” he said. “I never thought I would lose anyone to persecution.”
But one Saturday morning in April 2021, Moses’ father left to work in the fields and never returned. When villagers searched for him the next day, they discovered his body in a field where he grew corn, peanuts and other crops. He had been slashed on the back with a machete and shot once in the head.
“No one saw who killed my father,” Moses said, “but I believe it was Muslim Fulani herdsmen because they had just attacked our community a few days before he was killed.” Moses said his father’s killing fit the militants’ recent pattern of kidnapping and killing people on their farms.