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Killings of Christians continue in Nigeria

The reported death of a Boko Haram leader likely won’t improve the situation

A family member of a rescued schoolboy who had been kidnapped waits in Katsina, Nigeria. Associated Press/Photo by Sunday Alamba (file)

Killings of Christians continue in Nigeria

NIGERIA: A respected watchdog group reports more than 1,470 people have been killed this year and more than 2,200 abducted in a worsening Islamic insurgency. The “egregious and grisly massacre of Christians in Nigeria” comes as ISWAP (or Islamic State West Africa Province) announced the death of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, who supervised the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok in 2014. Rumors had circulated he died in May when an explosive device blew up. His absence is more likely to consolidate warring terror groups than to quell the violence. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom tackles Nigeria’s extremism and government inaction in a hearing today.


Burkina Faso: At least 160 people are dead after an attack in Yagha province near the Niger border—the deadliest attack since insurgency began in 2015 by armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

Mali: After carrying out the second coup in nine months, Col. Assimi Goita was sworn in Monday as president of a transitional government, solidifying his grip on power.

Kenya: Just on my radar, but the country over the past year has been experiencing an explosion in teenage pregnancies during COVID-19 lockdowns.


Egypt may emerge as a powerbroker in the region again, following its success arranging the latest Israel-Gaza ceasefire. But will it also inherit Gaza?

Israel: Lawmakers are set on Sunday to vote in a coalition government led by Naftali Bennett, but outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will remain in the fray, waging a familiar campaign with calls of election fraud.


Mexico: Criticism has dogged Vice President Kamala Harris over her travels to Guatemala and Mexico, including about why she didn’t make her way to the Mexico-U.S. border. My colleague Jamie Dean talked recently about Biden administration efforts to aid the region as a way to tamp down on migration.


Belarus: President Alexander Lukashenko signed a bill into law targeting protesters and political opponents, allowing prison sentences of up to three years for participating in an unsanctioned demonstration. His government continues to prevent the U.S. ambassador from entering the country.

Netherlands: United Nations war crimes judges upheld a genocide conviction and life sentence against former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, confirming his central role in Europe’s worst atrocities since World War II.

Germany: David Dushman, a major in the Red Army and Jewish, was the last surviving liberator of Auschwitz; he died in Munich on Saturday at 98.


  • Eighty-five percent of vaccination shots that have gone into arms worldwide have been administered in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Only 0.3 percent of doses have been administered in low-income countries.
  • Despite U.S. and other belated efforts to share vaccine doses, Africa is falling behind in vaccination rates. Many parts of the world continue to see spikes in infections.
  • Less than seven weeks before the Olympics are set to begin in Tokyo, Japan still has emergency restrictions in some areas with a resurgence of cases—more than 2,000 per day. Only 3 percent of its population is vaccinated. Here are the CDC’s travel recommendations.
  • Good summary on the Wuhan lab-leak investigation.

I’M READING Lament for a Father: The Journey to Understanding and Forgiveness, the latest from our editor in chief, Marvin Olasky.

Mindy Belz

Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine’s first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afghanistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run From ISIS With Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C.



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