Boko Haram militants are blamed for increased religious persecution in Nigeria, including the murder of 43 Christians and the wounding of many others in several year-end incidents, religious freedom watchdog groups have reported.

In two separate Christmas Eve attacks, 12 Christians including a pastor were killed and numerous others wounded at churches in Borno and Yobe states in Nigeria, according to reports from Christian Solidarity Worldwide, International Christian Concern and Morning Star News.

In the week following Christmas, 10 Christians were killed and five injured in various attacks on villages in Nigeria’s Plateau state, Adeniyi Ojutiku, a U.S. associate of the Young Wing Christian Association of Nigeria, told Baptist Press.

Olasupo Ayokunle, president and chief executive officer of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, said the targeted slaughter of Christians at their homes is unprecedented.

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