Adamawa is on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon and is one of its largest states.

In 2013, then-president Goodluck Jonathan decalared a state of emergency in Adamawa, as well as Borno and Yobe states, where Boko Haram concentrated its activity.

Northern Nigeria is home to about 30 million Christians, who form the largest minority religion in this predominantly Muslim area.

According to ‘Crushed but not defeated’, a report by Christian charity Open Doors International, the environment in northern Nigeria has been growing more hostile during the past 15 years through marginalization, discrimination and widespread attacks that culminated in the rise of Boko Haram.

In the past, Adamawa was part of a subordinate kingdom of the Sultan of Sokoto. It is named after Modibbo Adama, a regional leader in Usman Dan Fodio’s Fulani jihad. Though Islam dominated the region for many decades, Christian missionary activity succeeded and northern Adamawa became the home of a large number of Christians (nearly 54 per cent), even hosting two indigenous churches: the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN Church) and the Lutheran Church of Nigerian (LCCN Church).

These Christian communities came under heavy attack during the Boko Haram insurgency. At the height of the insurgency by the end of 2014, militants had killed scores of Christians, mostly men, and forced hundreds of thousands of survivors from towns like Mubi, Madagali and Gwoza to seek safety in camps or with extended families in the state capital, Yola.