Fact Sheet: Attacks on Christians Spike in Nigeria Alongside Overall Rise in Violence Targeting Civilians


Key Trends

  • Political violence targeting the Christian community has become more common since 2020.

  • Attacks on the Christian community have risen amid a wider increase in violence targeting civilians around the country: total civilian targeting increased by 28% from 2020 to 2021, and this trend has continued into 2022.

  • Despite the spike in anti-Christian attacks, the Christian community is not one of the predominant targets of political violence in Nigeria. While Christians make up roughly 50% of the population, violence in which Christians have been specifically targeted in relation to their religious identity accounts for only 5% of reported civilian targeting events.1

  • The rise in violence targeting civilians is additionally linked to a broader surge in overall political violence in Nigeria.

  • ACLED records a 19% increase in political violence events in 2021 compared to 2020, and nearly a third more fatalities. This trend has also continued into 2022.