Terrorists Thrive in Nigeria

Photo courtesy of Open Doors USA

Conditions in Nigeria worsen as terrorists’ activity continues. U.S. officials recently warned Nigeria’s government of Islamic State and al Qaeda infiltration. Africa’s most-populated nation ranks third on the Global Terrorism Index; only Iraq and Afghanistan suffer more terrorist attacks.

Open Doors USA CEO David Curry says believers pay the price for this insurgency. Nigeria is 12th on Open Doors’ World Watch List, a ranking of 50 countries where Christians face the most persecution.

“Every day, I get tragic stories of families who’ve lost their husband, pastors who’ve been killed; there’s a very real human effect.”

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Last month, the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) moved from military to human targets. As described here, jihadists executed five aid workers and sent a chilling threat to Christians. Violent events involving militant Islamist groups in Africa have spiked 31-percent since last year, USCIRF reports.

A decade of turmoil

Over the past decade, Nigeria has gradually become a hotbed for terrorist activity. Boko Haram began targeting Christians in July 2009; ten years later, the danger tripled. In July 2019, believers faced threats from three Islamic terror groups: Boko Haram, ISWAP, and Fulani herdsmen. Read our full coverage here.

At the height of ISIS’s insurgency in the Middle East, Boko Haram became Islamic State affiliates in West Africa.

“When the Islamic State was in control, Boko Haram was happy to say, ‘look, we have the same ideals of imposing Sharia law; we would be happy to make you look more powerful by being a node in your network. In return, we’d like some bombing expertise; maybe send your people down here [and] some cash to help buy weapons,” Curry says.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth


  • Pray for an end to the violent persecution of Christians in Nigeria and across Africa.
  • Pray that in the midst of these circumstances, the Church will have the grace to keep proclaiming Christ to those around them.
  • Pray for justice to be done and that perpetrators of violence will be arrested and prosecuted.
  • Please pray for wisdom and urgency for the government to take sufficient action to protect the lives of all affected by the violence in Nigeria, Muslims and Christians alike.

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