Nigerian police are on a heightened alert status since the United States’ drone attack on Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani. The death of an Islamic military leader could prompt Nigerian Muslim extremists to retaliate – with Nigerian Christians most likely in the crosshairs.
The Islamic State in Nigeria previously executed 11 believers on Christmas Day and released the footage worldwide. The gruesome act was to avenge the killing of their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by a US raid in Syria.
The crisis of Christian persecution in Nigeria has crippled the northern part of the country. Boko Haram and Fulani militants ravage the countryside, striking villages and targeting Christians where possible.
Last year, Muslim extremists killed more than 1,000 Nigerian believers. A worker with Voice of the Martyrs recently met an 8-year-old Christian boy named Philip who lost an eye in a violent Fulani attack on his family. Only Philip and his older sister Grace survived.
These are the stories of our persecuted Nigerian brothers and sisters in Christ.
Helen Williams with World Missionary Press says, “It’s a story that must be told and we must keep in our minds because it’s easy for us to read it, feel badly, and go on to the next thing. I think we need to make sure our hearts are touched and are sensitive to this continuing need. It’s not just in Nigeria; but particularly right now in Nigeria, the Church is paying the price there.”
Craving God’s Word
Williams says one of their ministry contacts in Nigeria recently sent an email about the status of displaced believers.
“He said the Church in northern Nigeria is wounded. It’s just been so devastated by the attacks of the militants killing two million homeless, burning churches. They’ve had to escape to refugee camps or IDP camps within their own country.
“He went to one unofficial camp where 40 unassisted families were living in an abandoned market. Thirty-five of the families were headed by widows whose husbands had been killed.”
These displaced families have many needs like food, shelter, and clothing. But one thing persecuted Nigerian believers can’t get enough of is God’s Word.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh
CALL TO ACTION
- Ask God to prepare hearts in Nigeria to receive His Word.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit’s comfort and courage to bolster the persecuted Church in Nigeria.