Armed Fulani herdsmen kidnapped a pastor as he and his driver were traveling in central Nigeria’s Plateau state last Friday, the wounded driver has told Morning Star News.

Rev Jen Tivkaa Moses and his driver, Yohanna Maina, were on their way to Abuja from Jos to attend a church seminar planned for Saturday when the armed Fulanis stopped them on the Kafanchan-Kwoi-Bwari highway at about 8pm near Jere village.

Mr Maina said that Pastor Moses, director of the Christian Education Department of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), was praying loudly when he last saw him held at gunpoint by the kidnappers. Church officials said the kidnappers have demanded a one million naira ($US2,730) ransom for his release.

“I am glad I survived this ordeal, and I pray that Rev Moses comes out alive,” Mr Maina said. “I am saying this as, while the gunmen led us into the bush, Rev Moses was praying very loud, and they disliked this so they were beating and threatening to kill him.”

Morning Star News reports that the driver was wounded when shots were fired at their car and another in front of them, with the occupants of the latter believed killed. Rev Moses and Mr Maina were subsequently ordered out of the car and marched unto the wilderness before they were separated and Mr Maina, who later had surgery to extract a bullet, was released.

Morning Star News reported that when they visited ECWA headquarters in Jos on Monday, leaders and church workers were holding prayer vigils at the conference hall for Pastor Moses. ECWA officials said the kidnappers have contacted the pastor’s wife and the accountant in his church office to make the ransom demand.

“Rev Moses is a man of prayer and strong faith, and I am convinced that God will see him through this terrible ordeal,” Mr Maina said.

Predominantly Muslim Fulani herdsmen have launched numerous attacks on Christians in northern and central Nigeria. Christians make up 51.3 per cent of Nigeria’s population, while Muslims living primarily in the north and middle belt account for 45 per cent.

Nigeria ranks 12th on Open Doors’ World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.