The US government is honoring an 83-year-old Muslim cleric who hid 262 Christians in his home and mosque during an attack in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State Nigeria.
Imam Abubakar Abdullahi, along with four religious leaders from Sudan, Iraq, Brazil and Cyprus, were awarded the 2019 the International Religious Freedom Award, which is given to advocates of religious freedom.
Abdullahi was recognized for providing shelter for hundreds of Christians fleeing attacks from Muslim herdsmen who had launched coordinated attacks on Christian farmers in 10 villages in the Barkin Ladi area of Plateau State on June 23, 2018, the award organizers said in a statement.
“As Imam Abdullahi was finishing midday prayers, he and his congregation heard gunshots and went outside to see members of the town’s Christian community fleeing,” the U.S. state department said.
“Instinctively, the imam ushered 262 Christians into the mosque and his home next to the mosque.” The Imam then went outside to confront the gunmen and he refused to allow them to enter, pleading with them to spare the Christians inside, even offering to sacrifice his life for theirs.
He was honoured with American Freedom Award